If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, there’s a good chance your doctor will prescribe you with some medication to help you to lower it, reducing your risk of more serious conditions like heart disease.
But you may not be at a stage where medication or any other intervention is necessary. Your doctor might instead introduce some lifestyle changes you will need to make to naturally lower your blood pressure and get you out of that risk area.
Here are some of the simplest ways to naturally lower your blood pressure without medication:
There is a link between obesity and high blood pressure, with much evidence to support the idea that blood pressure creeps up with the number on the scales. Being overweight can also cause sleep apnoea, which disrupts your breathing and further leads to a greater risk of high blood pressure. Losing weight is the best way to naturally lower your blood pressure.
Follow a blood pressure-friendly diet
There are some foods, including yogurt, spinach, and olive oil, that can support your blood vessels in proper functioning and help to keep your heart healthy. Equally, there are some foods, like deli meats, salty snacks and processed foods, that are high in sodium and can cause blood pressure to rise. Make sure to follow a blood pressure-friendly diet to stop hypertension in its tracks.
As we age, our enthusiasm towards exercise diminishes; it becomes more of a chore than an enjoyable pastime. Unfortunately for those of us who would rather not raise our heart rates, exercise is essential for all areas of health, including blood pressure. Walking, jogging, aerobic exercise or swimming can all help to bring your blood pressure down to a safe range.
If in doubt, quit smoking. It causes all manner of health problems, and has been found to raise your blood pressure for several minutes even after you’ve stubbed your cigarette out. Quitting isn’t easy, so speak to your doctor if you need support.
Many of us are still reluctant to admit that our mental and physical health is linked, but scientific evidence makes it impossible to deny. Being chronically stressed can elevate your blood pressure levels, even more so if stress causes you to reach for an unhealthy snack or alcoholic drink. It can be hard to fully eliminate the things that stress you, but even just taking some time out to spend alone with your thoughts every day may prove beneficial.
If you are attempting to manage your blood pressure without medication, and your doctor has said it is safe to do so, it is important that you monitor your blood pressure to ensure that your efforts are having some effect. The simplest way to do this is by using a blood pressure cuff.
NIBP cuffs, short for non-invasive blood pressure cuffs, can be used from home to measure your blood pressure on a daily basis. Your doctor may be able to provide you with a cuff to take home with you, or may advise you on where to find a cuff online.