If you’ve been diagnosed with hypertension, you may be concerned about the prospect of taking medication to lower your blood pressure. But there are some lifestyle changes you can make to help control your high blood pressure. By making these changes, you may even be able to prevent, postpone or decrease the need for prescription medication. So, read on to learn 5 ways to lower and control high blood pressure today.
1. Decrease Your Stress Levels
Chronic stress can play a role in the development of high blood pressure. However, if you respond to stressful situations by overindulging in unhealthy foods, consuming excessive amounts of alcohol, or smoking cigarettes, you may also be contributing to high blood pressure.
Consider the factors that contribute to your stress, such as your job, family obligations, financial struggles, or even illness. Once you’ve determined what’s triggering your stress, you should examine ways to minimize it.
2. Keep an Eye on Your Blood Pressure at Home
To ensure that your lifestyle modifications are effective, you could start to monitor your blood pressure at home. Blood pressure monitors are commonly accessible, and you don’t need a prescription to buy one. However, before you begin, make sure you discuss home monitoring with your doctor – they may even be able to recommend a suitable monitor.
3. Seek Assistance From Family and Friends
When it comes to making lifestyle changes, having the support of your family and friends will be essential. Their encouragement to take care of yourself may include driving you to the health clinic or participating in an exercise program with you to help keep your blood pressure under control.
Consider joining a support group if you feel that you need more assistance beyond your family members and friends. Here you’ll meet people who are in the same situation as you, and they may even be able to provide you with some practical ideas to help you manage your condition.
4. Cut Out Caffeine
The exact function that coffee plays in raising blood pressure is still up for discussion. However, caffeine could cause blood pressure to rise by up to 10 mm Hg in individuals who don’t consume it often, while it’s believed that individuals who consume coffee on a daily basis may see little or no difference in their blood pressure.
5. Reduce the Amount of Salt in Your Diet
Decreasing your salt intake by just a fraction will enhance your heart health and lower your blood pressure by roughly 5 to 6 mm Hg if you have hypertension. However, the impact of sodium consumption on blood pressure can differ depending on the demographic. In general, you want to make sure you’re limiting your salt intake to 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day, but aim for 1,500 mg or less per day if you can.