High blood pressure often does not produce any symptoms, which is why it is often referred to as the silent killer.
This condition drastically increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. Fortunately, there are several things that can be done to manage it. Below are some tips that will help you lower your blood pressure and keep it within a healthy range:
Exercise helps you lower your blood pressure. Experts recommend that hypertensive patients engage in moderate-intensity exercise, such as walking. You can potentially lower your systolic blood pressure by 8 mmHg and your diastolic pressure by six mmHg by walking for 30 minutes every day. Exercise helps your blood vessels dilate, which makes it easier for the blood to flow through the arteries. It also helps strengthen your heart.
Furthermore, exercise helps you lose weight. Studies have shown that obese people are at a greater risk for developing high blood pressure.
Reduce Your Table Salt Intake
Excess table salt intake can raise blood pressure in certain groups, such as African Americans, the elderly and people who have a family history of this condition. Reducing your table salt intake may help you lower your blood pressure. The average American gets over 3,000 milligrams of sodium per day. You should try to reduce your sodium intake to 2300 milligrams per day. Most of the sodium in the typical American diet comes from processed foods, so you should try to eat more fresh foods.
Reduce Alcohol Intake
A small amount of alcohol probably will not raise your blood pressure. In fact, some studies suggest that consuming alcohol in small amounts can help you reduce your blood pressure. However, drinking alcohol in excess will raise your blood pressure. That is why you should limit your alcohol consumption to one or two beverages per day. Additionally, if you are a non-drinker, then there is no need to start drinking.
Ditch The Cigarettes
Smoking can cause your blood vessels to constrict, which can raise your blood pressure. Your blood pressure constantly remains elevated if you smoke throughout the day. It is best to avoid smoking completely. Keep in mind that inhaling the second-hand smoke is also bad for your health.
People who are chronically stressed are more likely to have high blood pressure. They are also more likely to experience other health problems, such as depression and anxiety. You can lower your stress by performing deep breathing exercise. You may also want to consider getting a massage or meditating.
Dark chocolate contains flavanols, which are a group of antioxidants that make your blood vessels more elastic. There was a study done that showed that people who ate a ounce of dark chocolate per day noticed a decrease in their blood pressure. Make sure that you consume dark chocolate that has at least 70 percent cocoa.
High blood pressure plays a role in about 15 percent of the deaths that occur in America each year. Fortunately, you can control your blood pressure by walking, eating less refined table salt or replacing it with sea salt, managing stress, not smoking, limiting alcohol consumption and eating dark chocolate.
Sarah Gotheridge is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about healthy living, tips on elderly care, and general care advice.