Hearing from your healthcare provider that you have hypertension can seem overwhelming. You’re not alone, though.
Figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that 116 million adults experience this condition.This makes it one of the most common wellness concerns facing individuals ages 18 and older.
What is hypertension, exactly?
Even if your blood pressure is only slightly elevated, you’re at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease and stroke. However, you don’t have to change your lifestyle radically to combat hypertension.
You probably know hypertension by the familiar term “high blood pressure.” A high blood pressure rating is one where the top number (systolic) is 130+ and the bottom number (diastolic) is 80+.
Simplest Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure
Below are some of the simplest and most unconventional ways to lower blood pressure. Each one requires only small to moderate alterations to make an impact over time.
1. See a healthcare provider regularly for monitoring and medicines
Though you can monitor your blood pressure at home, you should schedule and attend doctor appointments. These appointments should be held as frequently as needed to ensure that a professional is monitoring your condition. If you are concerned about travelling to appointments, consider taking advantage of telemedicine.
Many providers offer virtual visits. This allows you to be seen and evaluated from anywhere. As explained by HealthTap, a telehealth app, having an online doctor removes barriers to care. Plus, visits tend to be cheaper, quicker, and more convenient than in-person alternatives.
Your online doctor can therefore play a role in helping you create a plan to address your hypertension. The plan may include medications that your telehealth provider can explain and prescribe.
2. Aim for 2.5 hours of exercise weekly.
When you exercise at a moderate level, you force your body to efficiently pump blood throughout your body. Within a few weeks of exercising more often, your heart should become stronger. A stronger heart means your arteries aren’t as affected by the force of the blood. As a result, your blood pressure should decline.
Having trouble finding time to fit in 2.5 hours in a week? Spread out your exercise in small bursts. Just taking a 15-minute walk in the morning and a 15-minute walk in the evening nets you 30 minutes per day.
Be sure to track your activity as well as vary what you do. If you find it difficult to motivate yourself, get an exercise partner to hold you accountable.
3. Say no to alcoholic beverages
Drinking alcohol can be hard on your heart. Additionally, certain medications that treat hypertension are incompatible with alcohol consumption. The Mayo Clinic explains that drinking too much can temporarily raise anyone’s blood pressure temporarily. When you drink alcohol practically every day, you can end up causing long-term harm. And even cutting back a little can have a positive effect on both your systolic and diastolic numbers.
Of course, you may find it difficult to enjoy social situations without a drink in your hand. Fortunately, you have plenty of alternatives to alcohol. For instance, try a non-alcoholic beer or a “mocktail.” Or, mix some sparkling water with an olive, cherry, or lemon wedge. You’ll feel better and be able to drive home safely, too.
3. Resolve to lower your stress
Plenty of people work in high-stress occupations or lead otherwise stressful lives. When you have hypertension or high blood pressure, your stress can make you more likely to have a heart attack. Though it is impossible to reduce everything that produces anxiety, you can improve your responses when stressors occur.
For example, when you feel like you’re about to become angry, nervous, or panicked, meditate for five minutes. Meditation apps like Calm are especially beneficial for tackling workplace-related stress.
4. Toss away your salt shaker
Sodium is an enemy of healthy blood pressure. Unfortunately, processed and prepared foods often contain large amounts of sodium. They may taste great, but they aren’t good for anyone who’s trying to bring down their hypertension.
There are a few quick methods to say goodbye to excess salt. One is to eat fast food or food made in restaurants only on special occasions. Another is to replace salt in your recipes with other seasonings that don’t have any sodium.
Be sure to check the ingredients, too. Cheese, soups, and cereals can all harbor large amounts of salt. In general, try to take in no more than 2,300 mgs daily as recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
5. Trim down
Losing just a few pounds could move the needle on your hypertension. This doesn’t mean you have to get down to an unnatural weight for your body type and shape. But if you’re carrying extra weight, the more pounds you shed, the more efficiently your organs can do their jobs.
Rather than make weight loss overwhelming, set doable goals. An example might be to lose five pounds a month for six months. Each day, eat a little better and exercise. Taking those types of small steps can add up. Within half a year, you’ll weigh less and have done something wise to address your hypertension.
Does having high blood pressure require you to make adjustments? Absolutely. Just don’t assume that you have to make sweeping changes. Tweaking a few key areas of your life can normalize your blood pressure and put you on a healthier path.
We review published medical research in respected scientific journals to arrive at our conclusions about a product or health topic. This ensures the highest standard of scientific accuracy.
 what hypertension is? : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7450770/
 Hypertension : https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31865786/
 Hypertension from stress : https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28415916/
 Sodium : https://www.fda.gov/food/nutrition-education-resources-materials/sodium-your-diet