7 Ways to Lower Blood Pressure Naturally
Your heart pumps blood every time it beats. This blood gives energy and oxygen to every part of your body. Therefore, it is important to keep your heart healthy at every age! If you maintain a lower blood pressure, then you will limit the strain on your heart and reduce your risk of health complications such as stroke.
Understanding Your NumbersPicture this--You are at the doctor's. She takes your blood pressure and turns to you. “100 over 70." It seems like she's happy, but... What does that mean!?
Bottom number: diastolic blood pressureYour diastolic blood pressure is the pressure in the arteries when your heart rests between beats. At this time, the heart fills with blood and oxygen. A normal reading is below 80 while a reading of 90 or higher indicates hypertension (1).
Diabetes and High Blood PressureThe combination of diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure) significantly increases your risk of deadly complications including:
7 Ways to Minimize without MedicationMedication isn't the only way to lower your blood pressure. Consider the following lifestyle changes to reduce your blood pressure and keep it down!
1: Lose weightAs your weight increases, your blood pressure is also more likely to increase. Losing as little as 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) can help! (2)
2: Watch your waistlineExtra inches around your waistline can increase your blood pressure so, limit the amount of body fat around your stomach. Men's waist measurements should be less than 40 inches (102 cm) and women's waist measurements should be less than 35 inches (89 cm) (2).
3: ExerciseThe best exercise to reduce blood pressure is any exercise, so take your pick! (3) Many people enjoy walking, cycling, swimming, dancing, or weight lifting! Find out what works best for you, and move for at least 30 minutes a day. If that seems overwhelming then, complete three 10-minute workouts to gain the same benefits! (4)
4: Choose healthy foodsStock your fridge with healthy options that are low in sodium and high in nutrients that can help lower blood pressure, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium (5) (6).
- Eat whole, healthy foods. Dark leafy greens and fish are heart healthy choices!
- Avoid processed (boxed) foods whenever possible
- Read food labels to check for sodium (Learn how)
5: Limit alcoholDrinking alcohol in small amounts may slightly lower your blood pressure. But having more than 1-2 drinks can actually raise your blood pressure by several points and could reduce how well your hypertension medications work (7).
6: Quit smokingCigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine narrows your arteries and as a result, raises your heart rate and blood pressure. Smoking increases your risk of hypertension, heart attack, and stroke. If you quit smoking, then you can lower your risk of these complications and your blood pressure (8).
Not a smoker? Inhaling secondhand smoke also puts you at risk of high blood pressure and other health issues.