An estimated 103 million people, or nearly half of all adults in the United States, have hypertension or high blood pressure (HBP), according to the American Heart Association.
HBP can be caused by lifestyle factors or by genetics, but usually, it is a combination of both. If left untreated hypertension may increase the risk of serious health issues such as heart attack, stroke, and more.
Natural Options for Healthy Blood Pressure
However, there is hope. If you have concerns about taking medications and their side effects, there are some natural alternatives that may help to bring your numbers down.
If your hypertension is a result of unhealthy habits, taking some simple steps may help keep your blood pressure within a normal range.
Try these four natural ways to help control your high blood pressure and improve overall health.
1. Get Moving
You may be tired of hearing that exercise is beneficial to your health, but it’s true. You simply have to get up and move if you want to help reduce your blood pressure measurements naturally.
Evidence strongly supports physical activity in the reduction of hypertension. Regular exercise helps make the heart stronger and more efficient at pumping blood, which can help lower the pressure in the arteries.
In fact, just 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly can help lower blood pressure. The trick is to pick something you like and stick with it, whether it is hiking, dancing, swimming, walking, or riding a bike. Make it fun by finding a workout buddy such as a neighbor, friend, or spouse.
2. Lower Sodium, Increase Potassium
Most guidelines for lowering blood pressure recommend reducing sodium (salt) intake. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that a stunning 90 percent of American adults consume too much sodium.
The recommended level is 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, which is less than one teaspoon. Unfortunately, the average American’s daily sodium intake is more than 3,400 milligrams.
A majority of excess salt comes from processed foods, so focus on whole foods and check the nutrition labels for sodium content. Even a small reduction in the sodium in your diet can improve your heart health and reduce blood pressure.
Experts also recommend potassium to help lower blood pressure. Potassium helps your body get rid of sodium and ease pressure on your blood vessels. Select potassium-rich foods like bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.
3. Managing Stressed Induced Hypertension
When our bodies are under stress, specific hormones are released, making the heart beat faster. This also causes constriction of blood vessels which may lead to temporary spikes in blood pressure. Chronic stress may cause the body to stay in a highly-charged state even longer.
Relaxation techniques to manage stress may be beneficial in individuals with hypertension. Consult your healthcare practitioner on the benefits of yoga, meditation, adequate sleep, and other natural alternatives to managing blood pressure.
4. Take Responsibility for Monitoring Your Blood Pressure
Home monitoring creates awareness of your blood pressure levels, and helps track how lifestyle changes are working to lower hypertension.
Blood pressure monitors are available without a prescription and come with a variety of features. Choose a model that offers precise technology, convenience, and is reasonably priced. Testing and tracking your blood pressure is one of the most important things you can do for your health.
These natural high blood pressure home ideas are relatively simple to incorporate into your life. By making these changes to your daily habits, you will create new, healthier routines and a much healthier you.