According to the World Health Organization, hypertension is a leading cause of premature death. Around 40% of adults aged 25 and over have hypertension, which translates to about one billion people with it.
You want to know “How to keep your blood pressure down”. You can keep a check on your blood pressure despite high blood pressure being a concern. As a first step, make sure you take your blood pressure medications as recommended by your doctor.
Secondly, get regular health checks before high blood pressure becomes a silent killer and increases your risk of heart disease. The third and best way to control blood pressure is to make some lifestyle changes, like exercising and eating right. Here are six tips to help you get started
How to keep your blood pressure down
To keep your blood pressure low, here are some suggestions that you should implement:
Blood pressure is often better controlled by people who are physically active. In addition to improving blood circulation, exercising regularly can help you take less medication and reduce your dose. Brisk walking is recommended for people with hypertension three to four times a week for 30-45 minutes. Basically, it lowers blood pressure by 5-7 mmHg.
You can also keep your weight in check by staying active and being physically fit. Hypertension is linked to being overweight and obese. Thus, exercising regularly can help you lose weight, which in turn lowers your blood pressure. Weight loss of around 10 kg can lower blood pressure by 5-20 mmHg, according to studies.
Reduce your salt intake
You’re well-known for having a higher blood pressure risk when you eat salt. Excess salt in your diet can raise your blood pressure and put you at risk for heart problems. It’s for this reason people with hypertension should watch their salt intake. Hypertensives should limit their salt intake to less than 6 grams/day, which is about half a teaspoon. Keeping your blood pressure in check is easier when you don’t eat too much salt.
You need to take into account the hidden sodium sources as well as the table salt if you want to control your blood pressure. Foods like packaged foods, cheese, sauces, etc., are packed with sodium, which is a no-no for hypertensives.
You should always read the food labels and choose low sodium foods. High sodium foods like chips and salted nuts should be avoided. Make your salads and cooked food a little less salty by going unsalted/low salted.
Limit Your Calorie Consumption
Most of us know that weight gain leads to hypertension and other lifestyle diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Excessive calories can make you gain weight and make you more likely to develop hypertension. Yes! Adding calories to your diet can increase fat reserves, which can lead to weight gain. That’s why hypertension patients have to be extra careful about calories.
It’s recommended to limit your calorie intake to 1500 Kcal a day to keep your weight under control. Be sure to opt for foods that are low in calories but packed with all the essential nutrients you need to stay healthy. Stay away from refined, processed, and oily foods and eat more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy. Be sure to check the calories to make sure you’re eating a healthy diet without sacrificing nutrition.
Limit your coffee intake
You should break up with coffee if you love it because it increases your blood pressure and acts as a stimulant. Caffeine is a compound that spikes blood pressure, even in people without hypertension. It’s a good idea to slowly and gradually limit your coffee consumption if you used to start the day with a cup or take frequent coffee breaks during your work hours.
The recommended caffeine intake per day is about two cups. Drinking green tea instead of coffee is good for your heart and overall health.
Take control of your stress
Our everyday routines are filled with stress. Chronic stress leads to high blood pressure, which is one of the health complications. Your blood pressure may go down if you manage your stress well. Knowing your stress triggers and avoiding them is key.
You can also try some simple things like yoga, swimming or taking up a hobby to relieve stress. Get some quiet time and breathe deeply every day for 15 to 20 minutes. As a stress-management tool, meditation and chanting can be effective. There are lots of ways to relieve stress, like gardening, listening to music, dancing, and playing with pets.
So these are some ways to keep your blood pressure down. You can control your blood pressure by adopting a healthy lifestyle and making small but conscious dietary changes. You might even be able to reduce the dose and number of medications. You can keep your blood pressure down by doing the things that are mentioned in this article.
Written by: Rehana Khatoon