So, you want to lower your blood pressure?
If you’re at the point you don’t want it to get too high and create any bigger issues, it’s time to do something about it.
It may seem like a difficult task to lower your blood pressure, but it doesn’t have to be. If you are willing and committed to doing small, simple lifestyle changes each day, you can see the results you want. Also, a good attitude never hurts.
Here are 7 ways to lower your blood pressure:
1. 30 Minutes of Daily Exercise
Taking 30 minutes to exercise each day may sound overwhelming, especially if there isn’t a lot of exercise happening now. However, slow and steady wins the race.
Start out 4 days a week and then move up to at least 6 days a week. If 30 minutes sounds daunting as well, think of it as this, “This is one episode of my favorite show on Netflix” and do simple exercises throughout the show like sit ups, walking in place, jumping jacks, etc.
You will be distracted and entertained while you get that heart rate up.
Exercise releases endorphins in your brain which blocks out pain and makes you feel happier after a workout as well. The extra blood you get pumping will also help your heart stay strong.
2. Diet Changes to Your Sodium, Fat and Cholesterol
Do you love salt? Do you add it to everything? Well it’s time to change that.
Recent studies by the U.S. government showed that 9 out of 10 adults are consuming nearly 1.5x more salt than they should be.
Too much sodium creates strain on your kidneys as well as your arteries, making it difficult for blood to flow properly and reducing your intake can improve your blood pressure.
Other foods high in cholesterol and fat also create problems for your heart and blood pressure by clogging the pathway for the blood to get through. Stick to foods that are fresh and preferably homemade–you can control what goes in the food you eat better.
3. Lose 5 to 10 lbs.
Weight loss may naturally occur with more exercise and diet changes, but it should be a focus if obesity is a factor causing your blood pressure to rise.
Obesity and high blood pressure are closely correlated. A woman who gains 55 pounds will be three times more likely to develop high blood pressure than a woman who did not gain as much weight.
Abdominal fat inhibits insulin to work correctly and slows metabolism, causing fat storage to increase and the pounds to continue to add on. Weight loss is key when obesity is creating health problems. And just losing 5 to 10 lbs. can significantly help lower your blood pressure.
4. Relax and Reduce Stress
Anxiety affects 18% of the U.S. population. We are a fast paced, goal oriented nation. While those can be great assets, it can also be detrimental to our blood pressure. .
When we are stressed or anxious, our chest and other muscles tighten, making it hard to breathe because our oxygen intake can become restricted and our blood pressure rises. As a result, we breathe faster to get more air in. However, this triggers panic and more tightness of the chest, making it harder to breathe.
Make sure to breathe deep, calming breathes when you start feeling anxious or stressed.
You can go for a walk outside or listen to soothing music to help overcome stress. The strain that stress puts on your heart is real, so don’t brush it aside. Take care of stress and learn to find your happy place.
5. If You Smoke, QUIT
Smoking is extremely detrimental to our body’s health in many ways, such as lung and throat cancer, while it also causes your blood pressure to rise.
Many people use smoking as a way to relieve their nerves and calm down. However, smoking actually increases your blood pressure once you are done with the cigarette.
Smoking adds more strain to your heart and increases your risk for blood clots, hypertension and heart disease.
Find a program and quit ASAP. Stopping will extend your life expectancy and overall health.
6. Use L-arginine
Sometimes our body needs a little extra help to control blood pressure.
Doctors may prescribe you a specific medicine to help or you can find a supplement on your own.
The amino acid L-arginine gets converted into nitric oxide in the body and expands the blood vessels to improve blood pressure and support healthy cholesterol levels in a natural and safe way.
Supplements like L-Arginine Plus reduce blood pressure and boost energy with L-arginine as the primary ingredient.
Make sure you do your research and consult a doctor before adding any supplement to your diet.
7. Leave Time for Yourself
The average American works 47 hours a week and 25% of polled full-time salaried employees work at least 60 hours a week.
While that may mean more money for some, it definitely means less time for the gym or a nice home cooked meal, and more than likely added stress.
Leave time to do the things that truly relax you and are beneficial to your health. Go for a run, play with your kids, go to dinner with friends. Happiness does count towards your health.