Steps To Lower Blood Pressure Naturally

75 million American adults have high blood pressure. Many Americans have diets that include lots of salt and processed foods, and many live sedentary lifestyles. Both of these things contribute to high blood pressure. It’s important to check blood pressure regularly and to follow a doctor’s advice. Read this article for some diet and lifestyle tips that may help lower blood pressure.

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What can be used to monitor blood pressure on the go?


Fitbits are an excellent way to monitor blood pressure - many of them have a built-in tracker that updates throughout the day. If one needs to keep track of blood pressure throughout the day, and don't want to carry around a large machine, Fitbits are an excellent solution for keeping an eye on things on the go.


What should blood pressure be?


A blood pressure reading is expressed as a fraction, or a top number and a bottom number. The top number (systolic pressure) should be between 90 and 120, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). The AHA recommends that the bottom number (diastolic pressure) be between 60 and 80. If blood pressure is higher than 120/80, one may need to make some changes to lifestyle or begin taking blood pressure medication, if recommended by a doctor.


Can blood pressure be lowered by eating different foods?


Yes. Diet can play a large role in blood pressure. When talking to a doctor, ask for specific diet recommendations. Many doctors suggest reducing saturated fats, refined sugars, and empty calories. The Mediterranean diet is often recommended for people who want to lower their blood pressure. This diet includes lots of fresh vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. One may also want to investigate the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).


Does weight affect blood pressure?


Yes. If someone is overweight, they are much more likely to have high blood pressure. The more they weigh, the harder the heart has to work to get blood circulated throughout the body. Fortunately, even a small weight loss can make a big difference. Studies show that losing just 10 pounds can result in a significant improvement in blood pressure. Losing weight can also prevent or improve sleep apnea.


Should salt intake be limited?


Yes. Salt raises blood pressure. Cutting down on salt can decrease your blood pressure by up to 8 mmHg. The opposite is also true: a salty snack or meal can cause your blood pressure to spike. Instead of salt, cook with spices and herbs.


Does the type of drinks consumed make a difference?


Yes. Drinking more water will help lower blood pressure and help with weight loss. Add some cucumber or lemon to your water to give it some flavor. Cut out beverages that have refined sugars and empty calories, like soda or sugary juice drinks. A small amount of alcohol is fine, but alcohol binges can cause unsafe variations in your blood pressure. Be careful with caffeine, too. A small amount is fine, but limit daily caffeine intake to the amount you'd find in a cup or two of coffee.


Is exercise a good way to lower blood pressure?


Generally, yes. Before beginning a new exercise regimen, check with a doctor to make sure you're healthy enough for physical exertion. If the doctor clears you for exercise, increase your level of exercise gradually. Experts say that 30 minutes per day of moderate exercise is a good goal. Start gradually by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking at the end of the parking lot instead of close to the door, etc. Walking, hiking and biking are all good forms of physical exercise that will strengthen your heart, lower your blood pressure, and help with weight loss.


What else can be done to lower blood pressure?


If one currently smokes, quitting is the best thing to do for your blood pressure. Each cigarette that you smoke causes an unsafe spike in blood pressure, so the sooner to quit, the better.

Reducing stress can help blood pressure, too. Examine the stressful things in life and see if you can eliminate any of them. Consider taking up yoga or meditation.


Why is this important?


According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 75 million American adults, or 1 in 3, have high blood pressure. High blood pressure can be a problem in any age group and makes the likelihood of heart disease and stroke much higher. High blood pressure is also treatable with diet and/or medication when diagnosed in time.

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