Blood pressure too high? Change your lifestyle!
By making some changes in your lifestyle, you can lower your blood pressure and thus reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as a heart attack or a stroke. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you may be prescribed medication to lower your blood pressure. But with pills alone, you are not there. Lifestyle nevertheless plays an important role in the treatment of high blood pressure. If you can successfully control your blood pressure through a healthy lifestyle, you may be able to avoid having to take medication. Or the dose can be adjusted in a favourable way (by the doctor).
Tips to lower your blood pressure :
Is your blood pressure too high? Here are few tips and advice to make changes to your lifestyle that are aimed at reducing your blood pressure and having it under control.
Eat less salt
Too much salt can increase blood pressure. The Heart Foundation recommends eating up to 6 grams of salt per day. Roughly 75% of the salt you get inside by eating processed products, such as bread, cheese, meats, canned vegetables, soups and snacks. In this way, you often get too much salt unnoticed.
Limit your salt intake by not adding salt to food when cooking or at the table. Look in the supermarket well on the packaging of foods how much salt or sodium is in the product. Choose fresh products instead of ready-to-eat products and use seasonings like fresh herbs and spices instead of salt when preparing your meals.
Eat more fruits and vegetables
Taking more fruits and vegetables helps to lower your blood pressure. Adults must eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables daily. A portion is 80 grams, or about the size of your fist. Try to eat a variety of different fruits and vegetables. Vegetable diet A ‘whole foods plant based’ (WFPB) diet (or a vegetable diet) has a beneficial effect on blood pressure. A vegetable diet consists mainly of vegetables, fruits, tubers (such as potatoes), whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds; and as little as possible (or preferably no) meat, fish, dairy products and eggs.
Strive for a healthy weight
From your BMI and waist circumference, you can check if you are overweight. Losing weight, if necessary, will help to lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk of health difficulties. The excellent way to lose weight is to eat less high-calorie foods and increase your physical activity. Set realistic and achievable goals. Make small adjustments in your eating habits and in the level of activity that you can sustain during the rest of your life.
Drink limited alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol will increase your blood pressure over time. The Nutrition Center advises not to drink alcohol or at least not more than one glass a day. This advice is the same for men and women. If you stick to the recommended alcohol limits, this can help to lower your blood pressure.
Reduce blood pressure through movement
Move five times a week moderately-active for 30 minutes (or twice 15 minutes or three times 10 minutes). Sufficient exercise can lower your blood pressure. You do not have to join the local sports club immediately to move. Walking, gardening and cycling are also enjoyable activities. Think about some ideas on how you can be more active in your daily life. Any activity that makes you warm and gets a bit out of breath is ideal.
Smoking cigarette temporarily increases your blood pressure. Stopping smoking helps to normalise your blood pressure. People who stop smoking, regardless of their age, have a significant increase in life expectancy.
Reduce caffeine use
Caffeine also plays a role in blood pressure is still a point of discussion. Caffeine can aggravate blood pressure by as much as 10 mmHg in people who rarely use coffee, but there is little or no effect on blood pressure in regular coffee drinkers. Although the effects of chronic caffeine intake on blood pressure are not evident, there is the chance of a slight increase in blood pressure when drinking coffee.
To see if caffeine increases your blood pressure, you can measure your blood pressure within 30 minutes after drinking a caffeinated drink. Raising your blood pressure by 5 to 10 mm Hg may mean that you are sensitive to the blood pressure-increasing effects of caffeine. You should not measure this one time, but at least five times. Because the blood pressure fluctuates during the day and it may be that you happen to have a slightly higher blood pressure that is separate from your caffeine use.
Reduce blood pressure by reducing stress
One cause of high blood pressure is chronic stress. Occasional stress can also contribute to high blood pressure if you respond to stress by eating unhealthy food, drinking alcohol or smoking. These are inadequate coping mechanisms. Try to avoid stress and ensure that you deal with stress adequately. Also, make sure you have enough relaxation.
Check your blood pressure regularly
Home monitoring can help you monitor your blood pressure and check whether your lifestyle changes are effective. Blood pressure monitors are available on a large scale and are available without a prescription. Regularly visit your doctor to have your blood pressure checked is also sensible.