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10 Ways to Control High Blood Pressure With No Medication

There are lifestyle changes you can adopt to lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of conditions such as heart disease.

If you have hypertension, you may wonder if you need medication to lower it. But lifestyle is fundamental to reducing high blood pressure. Controlling blood pressure by living a healthy lifestyle might inhibit, delay or reduce the necessity for medication.

10 Ways to Control High Blood Pressure With No Medication

  1. Lose weight and watch your waistline

Blood pressure often comes with weight gain. Being overweight also can lead to disrupted breathing while you sleep (sleep apnea), which raises blood pressure further.

Weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for controlling blood pressure. If you are overweight or obese, losing even a bit of weight can help lower blood pressure. Generally, blood pressure might go down by up to 1 millimeter of mercury (mm Hg) with each kilogram (around 2.2 pounds) of weight lost.

Besides, the size of the waistline is vital. Carrying a lot of weight around the waist can raise the risk of high blood pressure.

  1. Exercise regularly

Engaging in physical activity regularly can lower high blood pressure by up to 5 to 8 mm Hg. Exercising continuously can keep blood pressure from rising again.

Exercise can also keep increased blood pressure from becoming high blood pressure (hypertension).

Some of the examples of aerobic exercise that can help reduce blood pressure are walking, jogging, swimming, cycling or dancing.

One other possibility is high-intensity interval training, which includes alternating short bursts of intense activity together with periods of lighter activity.

  1. Eat a healthy diet

If you are eating a diet that is packed with whole grains, vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products, low-saturated fat and cholesterol, it can lower high blood pressure by about 11 mm Hg.

  1. Reduce salt (sodium) in your diet

Reducing salt in your diet even a bit can improve heart health and reduce high blood pressure by up to 5 to 6 mm Hg.

The impact of sodium intake on blood pressure varies per group of people. Generally, limit sodium to 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day or less. But, only take about 1,500 mg a day or less sodium as an adult.

  1. Limit alcohol

You should limit alcohol to below one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men and blood pressure will go lower by about 4 mm Hg.

  1. Quit smoking

Smoking elevates blood pressure. Quitting smoking helps lower blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. It improves overall health and possibly leads to a longer life.

  1. Get a good night’s sleep

Having poor sleep quality by sleeping less than six hours a night for several weeks can increase your blood pressure. A number of problems can disrupt sleep, for example, sleep apnea, general sleeplessness (insomnia) and restless leg syndrome.

  1. Reduce stress

If you are experiencing long-term (chronic) emotional stress, it might lead to high blood pressure. Further research is needed on the impact of stress reduction techniques to determine if they can lower blood pressure.

However, it won’t hurt to find out what causes stress, for example, work, finances, family, or illness, and figure out ways to reduce such stress. Try the following:

  • Avoid trying to do too much.
  • Focus on issues you can control and make plans to solve them.
  • Avoid stress triggers.
  • Make time to relax.
  • Practice gratitude.
  1. Monitor your blood pressure at home and get checkups regularly

Home monitoring is an important way to help you keep tabs on your blood pressure. It helps you determine the impact your medications and lifestyle changes have on the condition.

Home blood pressure monitors are widely available and without a prescription. Discuss your doctor about home monitoring before you get started and stick to regular doctor’s visits.

  1. Get support from family and friends

If you have a supportive family and friends, they may help you to better care for yourself, drive you to the doctor’s office or start an exercise program with you. All that will help you keep your blood pressure down.

If you realize that you need support beyond your family and friends, join a support group. There, you can meet people who can give you an emotional or morale boost and practical coping tips to cope with your condition.

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