Most people diagnosed with high blood pressure are typically given prescription drugs to try reducing the numbers. Sometimes the medications work—but only temporarily. The problem soon resurfaces with greater intensity. Then more drugs? There has to be a better way.

Do you presently suffer from high blood pressure or care for someone who does? What if I show you ways of managing and even preventing high blood pressure? What if the steps I show you require no orthodox medicines?

Best of all, what if it is proven to produce no side effects except a general feeling of well being and increased vitality? Surely it would be worth your while to give it serious thoughts.

First, your blood pressure is categorized as high if the systolic pressure reading is 140 or above, or if the diastolic pressure reading is 90 or higher. The higher the reading is above these thresholds, the more acute the problem is. And yes, it is a problem.

But do you really need drugs to control it, especially in the long run? Not really. The truth is that apart from instances where the reading is dangerously high, high blood pressure issues are better handled without prescription drugs.

Even in those acute cases, experts now suggest that once the numbers are brought down to manageable levels, it’s often best to withdraw the drugs and introduce series of lifestyle changes that can lower blood pressure levels and ensure they stay within healthy limits. Here are 5 of such lifestyle changes that work well and without synthetic drugs.

Relax: always create time to relax each day. A constant state of anxiety is bad for your heart and blood pressure. Among other things, restlessness forces your body to release stress hormones such as cortisol which is known to play a big part in raising blood pressure levels. So take a nap, spend time with children or pets or friends—anything that can have a calming effect on you is good for the heart.

Get Active! This may simply mean taking a brisk walk each day. The overall health benefit of exercise has never been in doubt. It is a must for physical, mental, and cardiovascular health. Walking, especially brisk walking helps stimulate your cardiovascular system, which helps lower blood pressure in ways medicines cannot achieve.

The proof is that in societies where people generally walk a lot, such as in northern Europe and the Scandinavian countries, there are fewer cases of heart diseases and high blood pressure.

Lose Those Extra Pounds: there is a correlation between extra weight and high blood pressure. Generally, the more weight you lose, the lower your blood pressure. Additionally, losing extra weight makes it easier for whatever other methods you’re using to fight high blood pressure to work better.

Besides watching your weight generally, you must pay particular attention to your waistline. Although your physician is in the best position to advice you on what should be your ideal waistline, but generally for most Caucasian males, a waistline above 40 inches predisposes one to high blood pressure. For women, the benchmark is 35 inches.

Keep a Healthy Diet: due to acquired tastes, eating habits are often hard to change. But what if your food is killing you? You’d surely want to do something about it. From now on, stick to foods rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy products. That also means you should form the good habit of reading labels when shopping for snacks.

Cut the Sodium in Your Diet: look, even a small reduction in the amount of salt in your meals can greatly reduce your blood pressure. Reducing the salt in your diet would mean choosing low-sodium alternatives of the foods and drinks you normally consume.

Generally this also means eating fewer processed foods like potato chips and the like which are typically high in sodium. Additionally, resist the urge to add extra salt to your cooked meals—find other ways to improve the flavor of your meals rather than salt.

This will take getting used to, of course. Remember that tastes are acquired. As you gradually reduce the level of salt in your diet, at first your food may not taste as you’d want it. But your taste buds will eventually adjust to it.

If you eat a healthy diet, find time to relax, skip meals rich in saturated fats, lead an active life and reduce salt intake, you’ll soon see your blood pressure heading south!

REMEMBER YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!

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To your Good Health,

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