5 Tips for Controlling Hypertension without Medication
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1 in 3 adults who are not institutionalized have a condition known as hypertension. Hypertension is the medical term for elevated blood pressure. This potentially serious condition can contribute to multiple complications such as stroke, kidney failure, heart attack and heart failure. If your blood pressure is the standard measurement of 120 over 80, you may have pre-hypertension or hypertension. Although medication is necessary for many individuals, you may be able to get your blood pressure under control without the help of medication. Consult your physician to see if these five strategies are appropriate for handling your specific experience with hypertension.
Tip #1: Sodium Reduction
Limiting your diet to 1,500 mg of sodium or less each day can have a positive impact on your blood pressure. Obviously, refraining from salting your food is the first step. Use other seasonings such as fresh herbs to give your food flavor. You also need to read labels on the food that you purchase. Some canned food items are notoriously high in sodium. Even if a food doesn’t taste “salty,” it still may contain a great deal of sodium.
Tip #2: Healthy Eating
Reducing sodium isn’t the only dietary approach to managing hypertension. When you combine the reduction of sodium with the addition of healthy foods, you have an even more effective tool for keeping your blood pressure down. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products are healthy choices that should be the staples of your diet. Potassium, which is found in food sources such as sweet potatoes, carrots, Lima beans, bananas, and spinach, also helps to manage hypertension.
Tip #3: Exercise
It may not be the easiest thing to do consistently, but exercising regularly is a powerful weapon against hypertension. Aim for approximately 30 minutes of activity that elevates your heart rate each day. Exercise improves your overall health, increase cardiac and respiratory functioning, reduces stress and helps to manage your weight. Staying within healthy weight range will help to keep your blood pressure down as well.
Tip #4: Tobacco and Alcohol Control
Substances that you take into your body can affect your blood pressure. Drinking in an excessive manner can raise your blood pressure. If you’re a woman, you can have up to one drink a day. For men, up to two daily drinks is considered safe. Either abstain from alcohol or drink responsibly in moderation. As for tobacco, smoking damages the walls of your blood vessels and contributes to hypertension. Kick the habit as soon as possible.
Tip #5: Managing Stress
Stress can have a negative impact on your blood pressure. Eliminate unnecessary stress from your life. Learn to say “no” to requests that cause you undue stress. You may not be able to completely remove all sources of stress from your life, but you can learn to handle stress in healthy ways. Getting enough sleep is critical for handling stress. Aim for at least 7 to 8 hours per night. Make time for relaxation and play. Try meditation, prayer or yoga. Take a minute or two every few hours during the day to consciously relax your muscles and breathe deeply. Again, consult your doctor about the best way to handle hypertension for you. You may be able to avoid medication by practicing these natural strategies. However, even if you must take medication, these strategies can still help to keep your blood pressure within a healthy range.
Ask today about a full body checkup; your doctor will discuss a suitable personal plan that will improve your health. Request an Appointment today.