Want to lower your blood pressure naturally? Here’s 7 lifestyle changes you can make to lower your blood pressure quickly and naturally, without medication. You can even get started today.
Often your doctor can’t diagnose a single root cause of your high blood pressure, so for best results you can combine the below lifestyle changes. You may already have a pretty good idea where to start!
Aim for improvement, not perfection. Start with what you feel will have the greatest benefit for you and make small positive changes.
Monitor your blood pressure and look for any improvement. If your blood pressure drops then great! – keep doing what you’re doing. If after a couple of weeks you don’t see any change, switch it up. Try making changes in other parts of your lifestyle or tweak what you’re currently doing.
Spoiler Alert: the fastest method mentioned here are the mind / body techniques.
1. Inhale… Exhale…
Stress is a part of daily life, but if you’re stressed out all the time – that’s an issue. Emotional stress can come in many forms and finding someone you trust who you can talk to and confide in will not only help release stress but has been shown to lower blood pressure too – remember the phase “It’s good to talk!”
Even if you aren’t feeling stressed, relaxation techniques such as meditation can really help relax your mind and body. Taking time out to relax is an important part of maintaining good health – both physically and mentally.
Numerous studies have shown that using mind / body techniques – such as guided breathing can lower blood pressure quickly – using simple exercises. These techniques have helped thousands of people lower their blood pressure – and keep it down. You’ll feel relaxed in no time!
2. Shed The Pounds
There is a strong link between high blood pressure and being overweight. This is especially true if the weight is carried centrally – around your stomach and waist.
If you’re overweight or obese, the good news is that even losing as little as 5-10% of your starting weight will help. Slow, steady weight loss of 1-2 lbs. (0.5-1kg) per week can be achieved on an effective diet combined with regular physical activity.
3. Avoid The Junk
This is always easier said than done. Avoid highly processed foods (like fast food) and those high in sugar – like sugary drinks, soda and deserts.
Eat more fruit and vegetables. Vegetables and fruit are rich sources of the potassium, magnesium, calcium, fibre, vitamin C and folate as well as lots of other good stuff. They can help lower blood pressure or even help prevent high blood pressure developing in the first place.
Fruit and vegetables are also usually low in fat and calories. That’s why eating them can help you maintain a healthy weight. They help you feel fuller for longer and stop you from snacking on high calorie foods.
A balanced diet contains at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables each day. Following a meal plan or diet plan is an easy way to eat healthily without having to think about each meal and worrying what you should be eating (or not).
4. Get Moving!
This often goes hand in hand with losing weight – for the double whammy health kick! Go for a 10-minute brisk walk after each meal. This not only aids digestion but also helps you to burn more calories! Find an activity you really love doing, and then do it with people you enjoy being with – you can support each other and keep each other motivated.
Always build up any activity gradually – don’t try too much too quickly, especially if you have a clinical diagnosis of high blood pressure. For example, start with 10 minutes walking a couple of times a week and increase to 15 minutes when you are comfortable at this level.
Any activity is better than sitting around. Even some invigorated house work can burn the calories!
5. Pass The Salt
Having too much salt and highly processed foods in your diet is a major cause of high blood pressure. We should all be reducing how much salt we eat, and we can do this in several different ways.
Slowly reduce your salt intake over a period of time – say 2 or 3 weeks, rather than going ‘cold turkey.’ If you suddenly stop salt, you’ll just start to crave it and then subconsciously start eating all those salty foods again!
If you add salt when eating, remove the salt shaker from the table. Take away the temptation. Once you have got used to this, start reducing the salt you add when cooking.
Salt is hidden in manufactured and processed foods, canned foods, microwave meals and takeaways, so it will help if you eat less of these. Processed foods contain lots of salt because it is a preservative and it enhances flavour and keeps us coming back for more! Try to reduce the amount of processed foods you eat. Read the labels to find lower salt varieties.
6. Cut The Caffeine
If you’re addicted to your morning hit, this can be a hard habit to break. Coffee, tea, chocolate and sugary beverages (like Cola and energy drinks) all contain caffeine. Try to cut back on the amount you drink each day – or switch to decaff!
Caffeine is a stimulant which can raise blood pressure, as well as blood levels of the fight-or-flight chemical epinephrine (also called adrenaline), which is no good for your stress levels. Too much caffeine can disrupt sleep, which has also been linked to raised blood pressure and poor health.
7. No Smoking
This should come as no surprise. Smoking is known to drastically increase your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure – among other nasty diseases such as cancer. If you’re still smoking and what to give it up there are plenty of public resources available to help and support you.
Make A Start – Small Steps, Lasting Results
Getting your blood pressure under control reduces your risk of heart disease and other complications such as heart attack or stroke.
Doing nothing is not going to get you any closer to your goals. Take action, see what works for you and keep at it! Before you know it you’ll be forming good habits and be a happy, healthier you.
Remember to get your blood pressure checked regularly and always consult with your health care provider before making significant lifestyle changes. They will be able to advise if the changes are right for you.