If you’ve been following my work for a while then you’ll know it’s all about making maintainable changes, which wherever possible are based around natural treatment and prevention, and ideally without the use of medication
One common problem I get clients coming to me with is high blood pressure, and luckily with some lifestyle changes you can naturally start to lower it and get it under control.
That’s why today I wanted to share with you 10 ways to lower blood pressure without medication, which if implemented can drastically lower your risk of heart disease.
Before we get to that though, it’s important to understand exactly why this is an issue.
You see, high blood pressure on its own actually causes no symptoms, but what it does do is lead to an increased risk of leading killers such as heart attack and stroke.
Not only that, but it also plays a direct role in causing kidney failure, cognitive decline, as well as aneurysms.
While there are various medications that can help to lower blood pressure, as with all drugs they come with a host of side effects, potentially causing insomnia, dizziness and leg cramps.
Luckily though most people can reduce their blood pressure with some lifestyle changes, and that’s what we are going to be focusing on today.
10 Ways to lower blood pressure without medication
1) Lose weight
It’s common for blood pressure to increase along with weight gain, meaning that weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes to help reduce blood pressure.
It’s not just about excess pounds either, as carrying too much weight around the waistline can also put you at a greater risk of high blood pressure.
Studies have shown that men are at risk if they have a waist measurement above 40 inches, and for women its above 35 inches.
Losing just 10 pounds can massively help with reducing blood pressure!
2) Get regular exercise
Exercising at least 30 minutes most days can lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 millimetres of mercury (mm Hg). However, consistency is key, as if you stop exercising then your blood pressure will rise again.
When trying to lower blood pressure, the best types of exercise include: strength training, walking, jogging, swimming and cycling.
That’s why wherever possible you should be finding ways to move more on a daily basis, even if it’s just taking the stairs or walking instead of driving.
3) Have a healthy diet
One of the first port of calls with any lifestyle change is making sure you get rid of any nutrient deficiencies, as these massively affect how well your body can actually function.
Your aim should be to have a diet filled with vegetables, fruits, wholegrains and lean proteins.
To find out everything you need to know about nutrient deficiencies and how to avoid them click here.
4) Learn to manage stress
This is a big one, and while I know telling you to reduce stress is useless advice (as if it were that simple we’d all be doing it already), there are definitely ways you can reduce stress levels, regardless of how hectic or busy your life may be.
This is essential, as chronic stress is a huge contributor to high blood pressure, and it’s made even worse if your response is to turn to alcohol, smoking or unhealthy food.
Check out an article I wrote on everything you need to know about stress and managing stress levels here.
5) Reduce sodium intake
In the Western world our diets are filled with salt, and this in turn can have a big impact on our blood pressure.
Even just a small reduction in your intake can aid in reducing blood pressure from between 2 to 8 mm Hg!
It’s important to note though that sodium intake affects people differently, but some of the easiest ways to reduce your intake are:
Read food labels – and choose low sodium alternatives.
Eat fewer processed foods – as most sodium is added during processing.
Don’t add salt – find other ways to add flavour to foods, such as using herbs or spices.
6) Limit caffeine
This one is still largely debated, as again, it comes down to an individual basis.
Caffeine has been found to raise blood pressure by as much as 10 mm Hg in those who don’t consume it on a regular basis, whereas no strong effect has been found on habitual users.
The easiest way to see if it affects you is to check your blood pressure before having a caffeinated drink and again within 30 minutes of its consumption.
If your blood pressure increases by 5 to 10 mm Hg, then it’s likely that you may be sensitive to its use and should be wary of your consumption.
Try switching to decaf!
7) Reduce alcohol intake
This is a double-edged sword, as in small amounts alcohol can potentially lower blood pressure by 2 to 4 mm Hg, whereas drinking more moderate amounts can actually raise blood pressure!
8) Stop smoking
Every cigarette you have increases blood pressure for a few minutes after you finish, meaning quitting can help levels return to normal.
9) Find balance
In our modern world we are always on the go, burning the candle at both ends and pushing our bodies to the absolute limit, and this is turn is placing a huge toll on both our health and our waistlines.
In fact, it’s been found that working more than 41 hours a week can raise your risk of hypertension by 15%!
Not only is this causing ever growing stress levels, but it is also influencing our food choices, causing us to become more sedentary and regularly sacrificing sleep.
That’s why there’s no way around it, if you are serious about taking control of your health then you need to find a way to instil some form of balance in your life.
10) Get help
Making these changes can be tough, especially when you try to do it on your own, and this in turn often causes people to seek radical quick fixes that are never maintainable long term.
Instead what we need to be doing is looking at our lifestyle on the whole, and starting to make positive changes wherever we can.
What do you think?
Share your thoughts, questions and other ways you’ve found to lower blood pressure below.
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