About one in two US adults suffers from hypertension or high blood pressure. This puts undue strain on your arteries and heart, eventually culminating in chest pain, heart disease, or a heart attack. Worst of all, symptoms don’t tend to appear until they become life-threatening.
If you’ve been diagnosed, it’s important to start lowering your blood pressure even if you feel healthy at the moment. The good news is, unlike other diseases, there are plenty of natural, easy ways to control your blood pressure. A few healthy changes can get you on the right track, all without dramatically altering your lifestyle.
Regulating blood pressure will lead to a longer, better life. Here are 7 natural ways to make your body — and your doctor — much happier.
1. Shed the Pounds
Excess weight is a contributing factor to high blood pressure. This occurs through two processes: heart strain and secondary health complications.
More mass strains your heart, making it more likely to develop high blood pressure. Obesity can also cause secondary health complications that lead to high blood pressure, such as sleep apnea and high cholesterol.
Whether you’re obese or just overweight, the results of weight loss are surprisingly potent. You can expect to drop 1 mm HG per 2.2 pounds, though outcomes are personalized. By losing 20 pounds, you could eliminate hypertension or move down to a less severe stage of high blood pressure.
2. Exercise Often
Regular exercise can strengthen your heart and lead to weight loss, making it a comprehensive approach to lowering your blood pressure. Stick to aerobic workouts that increase your heart rate. Resistance training is effective to a lesser extent, such as weight lifting.
If exercise brings your blood pressure down to healthy levels, that isn’t an excuse to stop. Returning to a sedentary lifestyle will allow your blood pressure to increase once again. A healthy lifestyle is key to keep high blood pressure at bay.
3. Take Natural Supplements
While blood pressure medication exists, you can also manage your health with the help of natural supplements. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, also known as fish oil, can lower your blood pressure by several points. It also brings other benefits to the table, reducing inflammation and supporting healthy joints.
It’s best to consume potassium through foods. However, potassium supplements are another option. Potassium helps your body consume sodium, relaxes arteries, and prevents cramping.
All of these benefits can decrease your blood pressure.
Lastly, consider coenzyme Q10. Numerous studies have shown this antioxidant dramatically lowers blood pressure. However, more research is needed to confirm its safety, so discuss Q10 first with your doctor.
4. Eat Healthier
The American diet far exceeds our recommended intake of sodium. Your kidneys are responsible for managing the fluid in your arteries, but too much sodium can wreak havoc on that delicate balance.
Avoid processed food and takeout, and don’t add table salt to your meals. Instead, rely on spices to keep things flavorful. You can also find low-sodium versions of some of your favorite food items.
Keep in mind that not everyone has what’s known as sodium sensitivity. You can have a healthy blood pressure even with a high-sodium diet — and vice versa. Still, excess sodium is one of the leading contributors to high blood pressure in most people.
5. Try CBD Oil
Stress hormones restrict blood vessels and increase your heart rate. If you suffer from stress on a regular basis, CBD oil has been shown to lower blood pressure.
Although CBD oil doesn’t cause a “high,” it still has relaxant properties. These reduce the potency of your body’s stress response, which in turn limits the release of stress hormones.
CBD oil is best taken alongside other stress relief activities, which we’ll discuss in the next section.
6. Control Stress
While exercise releases endorphins that help you manage stress, it often isn’t enough for high-anxiety individuals. These patients should first limit their stressors as much as possible. Make life changes, like a new work schedule that allows you to avoid rush-hour traffic.
But you should also seek stress relief activities such as yoga and meditation. Or instead, rely on relaxing practices like taking a hot bath when you get home from work.
It may sound simple, but there is a clear connection between your mental and physical well-being. Pay head to your emotional state and your body will thank you.
7. Kick the Habit
Drinking alcohol and smoking both have serious negative health complications. They restrict the blood vessels, leading to a marked increase in blood pressure.
While a single drink every day won’t have a serious effect, alcohol addiction is a more serious matter. Drink in moderation, or better yet, not at all.
There is no such thing as moderation when it comes to smoking. Smoking causes permanent damage to your cardiovascular system, which will lead to high blood pressure that’s difficult to control. It also produces a temporary high that causes short-term elevated blood pressure.
Kicking both of these vices to the curb won’t just improve your blood pressure, but will also help you avoid other complications like anxiety, dizziness, and heart and lung disease.
Regulating Blood Pressure Is Easy
Uncontrolled blood pressure can and will result in life-threatening consequences if left unchecked. Although you may not want to change your diet or sedentary lifestyle, it’s a small cost to pay.
Regulating blood pressure can seem annoying at first, but once you settle into your new lifestyle, it won’t even seem like you’re trying.
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