What Can I Do Naturally to Lower Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure kills hundreds of thousands of people every year. It is particularly deadly for those with other underlying health conditions, such as kidney disease and diabetes. Ideally, blood pressure readings should be lower than 140/90, or a top of 140 at the systolic level, which measures peak arterial pressure, and a maximum of 90 at the diastolic level, a measure of minimal arterial pressure. Numerous prescription medications can lower blood pressure, but like all such drugs they may have unwelcome side effects. But there are natural measures you can employ that will lower your blood pressure as well.
Lower Your Risk Factors
If your family doctor has told you that you are suffering from high blood pressure, or hypertension as it is commonly known among medical professionals, don’t let it get you down. There are plenty of steps you can take to get those figures down before you must resort to taking prescription medication. A good place to begin is by taking an inventory of your personal behavioral patterns, some of which may be largely responsible for an elevated blood pressure reading.
Major risk factors, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a branch of the National Institutes of Health, include smoking, excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, a sedentary or inactive lifestyle, high sodium intake, an unhealthy diet, and being overweight or, even worse, obese. Although it may take a lot of determination and sacrifice, each of these risk factors can be eliminated from your life. You can count on your doctor to provide every bit of assistance you will need to get the job done, but have no doubt, it can be done.
Quit Smoking, Focus on Diet, and Get Active
Although eliminating all the risk factors from your life is probably the best course of action, it is understandable that you may not want to tackle them all at once. Perhaps the most important single step that you can take is to stop smoking if you are still doing so. Your second priority is to begin eating as healthy a diet as possible. That means reducing your intake of fats, refined sugars and red meats. The key word here is reduce. You don’t have to eliminate these foods from your diet, but you must take positive steps to cut down on your consumption of them.
Getting active doesn’t mean you have to go overboard, sign up for an exercise club, and start lifting weights. In fact, such a course of action could be dangerous if you have been inactive up to now. But you can get started by taking a brisk walk every day or every other day, making it a point to walk up and down stairs instead of taking the elevator/escalator and spending less time on the couch watching TV.
No matter which steps you decide to take, you should first consult with your doctor, as he may have some helpful suggestions or could offer guidelines that are compatible with any underlying health conditions you may have.