In a normal individual, blood pressure above 140/90 mm of Hg is high and you can get a good idea of these high blood pressure ranges from the high blood pressure chart explained, in causes of high blood pressure.
The guidelines and home remedies to control high blood pressure naturally without the use of medications assumes great significance in view of the fact that:
- Most of the times you will never know you are having high blood pressure because symptoms will be absent. It is when the lethal complications set in that you will be detected as being hypertensive. That is why it is called the silent killer
- Medications given for high blood pressure have serious side effects.
- The prevalence of hypertension amongst the population in developed countries is increasing at an alarming rate.
According to an editorial in the Lancet, dated 18 August 2007, the “risk of becoming hypertensive during lifetime exceeds a staggering 90% for a person in a developed country”. Hypertension is the medical word for high blood pressure.
The reason for the same is the spread of wrong lifestyle habits among the vast population – wrong diet, a sedentary lifestyle without much physical activity and stress.
Guidelines and home remedies to control high blood pressure naturally without medications
The medical fraternity calls it the “miracle drug”. Just 30 minutes of exercise daily can bring down you blood pressure by 4 to 9 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). It will also help in lowering your blood sugar if you are a diabetic. It can help to control and prevent a host of health conditions like heart diseases, obesity, certain types of cancer and osteoporosis and a lot more.
Aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, and running are the best to give quick results.
Weight training exercises will also be good if you are insulin resistant as working each muscle will increase blood flow to the muscle tissues and increase you sensitivity to insulin.
Avoid high-intensity exercises, as they will not reduce your blood pressure as well as moderate intensity exercises. On the contrary, they may raise it.
However, you should talk to your doctor first so that he will advise you on the type of exercise that will best suit you.
2. What diet and foods to eat?
The US National Institutes of Health sponsored a research, which developed the DASH diet plan. This plan is a healthy eating diet plan for high blood pressure patients, which not only helps to lower the raised blood pressure and cholesterol but is also in line with the dietary recommendations to prevent osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. As a sort of a “side effect”, it will also help you shed a few unnecessary pounds. It is the best healthy eating diet plan available, which you and your family can even otherwise follow.
DASH, short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension has been proven to control high blood pressure even without drugs. Just partner with an exercise plan on a daily basis.
It consists of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat or nonfat dairy, whole grains and contains less refined grains compared with a typical diet.
It is high in potassium, magnesium, calcium, and fiber.
It is low in sodium and calories. Compensate less of salt in the diet by using herbs, spices, garlic, and onions to make up for the taste.
Read the detailed post on the DASH diet
3. Maintain optimum weight
If you are overweight or obese, nothing is going to work. Obesity is a major cause of high blood pressure. You must go on a weight loss program. Get help.
Blood pressure is directly proportional to your weight. As your weight increases, your blood pressure increases. Losing just ten pounds can lower your blood pressure and protect your heart. Getting your weight within the normal range can bring your blood pressure to normal.
4. Manage stress
Chronic stress and even occasional stress can raise your blood pressure. It is very important that you manage your stress well. Stress can make you turn to alcohol and smoking. Identify the cause of your stress and try to isolate it by not thinking about it much.
Learn stress coping techniques. Try to get enough sleep. Try deep breathing techniques. Join physical activity groups. Practice yoga and meditation. They are great for this type of situation.
5. Get enough sleep
Chronic insufficient sleep is a risk factor and can raise your blood pressure. Improper sleep can increase your stress hormones and activate your sympathetic nervous system. This increases your blood pressure.
If you suffer from sleep disorders like sleep apnea, you must consult a sleep expert. Learn how to get proper sleep.
6. Limit alcohol intake
Consuming alcohol, more than the recommended amount can raise your blood pressure. It also makes the blood pressure medication less effective. Drinking alcohol within the recommended frame can lower your blood pressure by two to four points.
Alcohol intake recommendation;
- One drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65
- Up to two drinks, a day for men age 65 and younger
How much is one drink? One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. One ounce roughly equals 30 ml.
7. Avoid smoking and tobacco
Cigarette smoke damages the walls of the arteries and causes loss of their elasticity making them stiff. This makes it easier for the cholesterol plaques to get deposited and clog the arteries. The heart has to pump blood with higher pressure, which causes blood pressure to rise and greatly increase the risk of heart attack. You have to give up smoking totally.
8. Drink adequate amount of water
Staying adequately hydrated can lower your blood pressure naturally. If you ae a normal healthy person without hypertension, you should drink about eight to ten 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
If you have high blood pressure, you should drink twelve 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Stick to this amount. Don’t overdo it because it will put load on the already weakened kidneys.
The reason for this is that lack of water makes your body retain sodium, which is bad. Secondly, dehydration makes your body close down some of the capillary beds, which exerts a back pressure on the heart raising your blood pressure further.
9. Monitor your blood pressure daily at home
Last but not the least, monitor your blood pressure once or twice daily and keep a record of it. Your doctor will advise you on how to do it.
Take your blood pressure readings at the same time every day. This will give your doctor an idea of your daily blood pressure behavior.
Positive changes will keep you motivated, which is important. These lifestyle habits have to be lifetime and motivation is the key to help you keep doing it.
Monitoring your blood pressure will tell you and your doctor of how well you are responding to your new changed lifestyle habits and whether he needs to lower the dose of your medications or stop them.
These natural lifestyle changes will not only help lower your blood pressure but increase your overall health and act as a strong preventive agent against almost all health conditions.