Ways to control blood pressure without drugs

Losing weight, exercising regularly, eating lightly, limiting alcohol consumption, controlling stress, etc. are useful measures to help patients control high blood pressure.

Lifestyle plays an important role in the treatment of high blood pressure. If your blood pressure is well controlled with a healthy lifestyle, you can avoid, delay, or reduce your medication. Here are 10 habits to help lower and maintain blood pressure.

Weight loss

Blood pressure usually increases as weight increases. Being overweight can also cause disrupted breathing during sleep (sleep apnea), which increases blood pressure. Losing weight is one of the most effective lifestyle changes to control blood pressure. You can reduce your blood pressure by about one mmHg for every kilogram of weight you lose.

Besides losing weight, you should also pay attention to your waist size. Too much belly fat can increase your risk of high blood pressure. In general, men are likely to have the disease if they have a waist measurement greater than 102 cm, similarly in women it is 89 cm or more.

Reducing belly fat can help people control high blood pressure. Image: Freepik

Exercise regularly

Regular exercise for at least 150 minutes a week, or 30 minutes a day, can reduce blood pressure by about 5-8 mmHg in people with high blood pressure. It is important to exercise regularly because if you stop being active, your blood pressure can rise again.

If you have high blood pressure, exercise can help you avoid high blood pressure and lower it to a safer level.

Some sports that can be done to control blood pressure include: walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing. You can also work out in a high-intensity interval training regimen, which alternates short bursts of high-intensity exercise with gentler recovery times. Endurance training combined with strength training at least twice a week can also help lower blood pressure. You can consult your doctor about an exercise program that is right for your body.

Healthy diet

A diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products; At the same time eliminating saturated fat and cholesterol can reduce blood pressure by 11 mmHg.

Of course, it’s not easy to change eating habits, but you can apply a healthy diet by: keeping a food diary (tracking the type of food, amount consumed, time, reason); consider getting a potassium boost (potassium from fruits and vegetables can reduce the impact of sodium on blood pressure); Read food packaging when shopping and follow an eating plan when eating out.

Reducing salt in the diet

Even a small reduction in dietary sodium can improve heart health and reduce blood pressure by about 5-6 mm Hg in people with high blood pressure.

Experts recommend keeping total salt intake below 1,500 mg a day for most adults. To reduce sodium in your diet, you can try tips such as: read the information on the packaging to choose low-sodium foods and beverages; consume less processed foods; add less salt during cooking because one teaspoon of salt contains 2,300 mg of sodium (can be replaced with herbs and spices); Gradually reduce the amount of salt so that the taste adjusts over time.

Fast and processed foods are high in salt and unhealthy fats, which can raise blood pressure.  Photo: Freepik

Fast and processed foods are high in salt and unhealthy fats, which can raise blood pressure. Image: Freepik

Limit alcohol intake

Moderate drinking, one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, can reduce blood pressure by about 4 mmHg. One standard glass of wine is equivalent to 340 ml of beer, 142 ml of wine or 42.6 ml of 80-degree wine. Drinking too much of this alcohol can increase blood pressure and decrease the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.

Quitting smoking

Each cigarette increases your blood pressure after smoking. Stopping smoking helps blood pressure return to normal. Quitting smoking can reduce your risk of heart disease, improving overall health. People who quit smoking may live longer than smokers.

Reduce stress

Chronic stress can contribute to high blood pressure. When stressed, people tend to eat unhealthy foods, drink too much alcohol, or smoke. These factors all negatively affect blood pressure.

If you can’t get rid of stress, you can deal with it in a healthy way. Such as planning the day and focusing on priorities; Avoid overwork and learn to reject things that are off the list.

Commuting to work by public transport can help reduce the stress of driving during rush hour.  Photo: Freepik

Commuting to work by public transport can help reduce the stress of driving during rush hour. Image: Freepik

Focus on the problems you can control and make a plan to solve them. If you’re having a hard time at work, talk to your manager. If there is a conflict with your children or spouse, you can find steps to resolve it.

Also, avoid stressors when possible. For example, if traveling in rush hour causes stress, you can go earlier in the morning or use public transport; Or avoid people who stress you out.

You should also spend time relaxing and doing favorite activities such as walking, cooking, shopping… Meditation and deep breathing every day can help manage stress.

Blood pressure monitoring, periodical health check

Home blood pressure monitoring helps you control blood pressure levels. This ensures that lifestyle changes are working; and warn of potential health complications. Regular check-ups are also key to keeping your blood pressure under control. From there, the doctor can make appropriate indications for your health conditions.

On the other hand, family and friends can be supportive and help you improve your health. They may encourage you to take care of yourself, see your doctor, or work out an exercise program with you to keep your blood pressure under control.

Chau Vu (Follow Mayo Clinic)


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