If you suffer from high blood pressure or hypertension, you might be wondering what you can do to ease symptoms and reduce long term damage without adding more medications to your routine.
Lucky for you, there are plenty of natural ways to lower blood pressure. And, many of them are proven to deliver fast results!
Want to know more? Keep reading for 11 easy steps you can take to lower your blood pressure, starting today.
Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure
Diet, exercise, and genetics all play a part when it comes to your blood pressure. And, surprisingly, so does education.
The very first step you can take is to learn more about the factors that are within your control.
1. Eat Less Salt
Whether you realize it or not, your diet probably contains too much sodium. And, according to the American Heart Association, limiting sodium is one of the most effective ways to lower blood pressure fast.
Start by eating fewer processed foods, reading labels when you shop for groceries, and skip adding salt to your meals. If you find that food without salt is lacking in flavor, opt for a heart-healthy salt substitute.
2. Reduce Stress
Chronic stress increases your risk for many long-term health issues, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Stress can also increase your chances of using unhealthy coping mechanisms like eating unhealthy food, drinking alcohol, and smoking.
If you’re dealing with stress on a daily basis, adopting a few healthy responses can help curb your counterproductive cravings. Try to avoid stressful and “triggering” situations, make time for relaxation, and practice plenty of self care.
3. Try the DASH Diet
If you’re wondering how to bring blood pressure down quickly, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet might be your best bet. This diet focuses mainly on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and small servings of low-fat dairy.
People who adopt the DASH diet often lose weight and enjoy a variety of additional health benefits, too. In fact, research on this diet is so conclusive that it is now considered one of the top non-pharmaceutical methods for controlling hypertension.
While meditation might sound like just another method for reducing stress, it has been proven to offer a variety of health benefits, including reduced blood pressure.
Both meditation and deep breathing have been linked to increased activity in the parasympathetic nervous system. This system is engaged when your body is relaxed, slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure.
5. Exercise Regularly
Exercise helps control high blood pressure, makes it easy to manage your weight, strengthens your heart, and lowers your stress levels. But don’t worry, you don’t have to run a marathon to bring your bp down.
Just two hours a week of moderate exercise, like brisk walking, cycling, jogging, or dancing, can make a big difference. Any type of aerobic activity will do you good, but try to choose an activity you enjoy. This makes it easier to start up and stick to a routine!
6. Drink Less Alcohol
While some studies have shown that drinking alcohol in moderation (one or two drinks a day) can benefit your heart, overindulging in alcohol can also cause your blood pressure to spike.
Alcoholic beverages are packed with calories and sugar, which contribute to increased body fat and weight gain. This can lead to an increase in blood pressure over time.
Drinking can also make blood pressure medication less effective, so this tip is especially important if you’re currently taking prescription drugs to lower your bp.
7. Get Plenty of Sleep
Your blood pressure naturally drops while you sleep. So, getting six to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep per night can help keep your bp low. It also helps to regulate widely fluctuating blood pressure, which is just as dangerous as high blood pressure.
If you sometimes struggle to sleep at night, try setting a regular sleep schedule, avoiding too much “screen time” at night, exercising during the day, and avoiding daytime naps.
8. Lose Weight
Obesity increases the likelihood of developing high blood pressure. And, more than half of U.S. adults are overweight.
Losing weight can help reduce your heart’s workload. And, it allows your blood vessels to expand and contract easily, increasing circulation. In turn, this makes it easier for the left ventricle of the heart to pump blood.
If you have high blood pressure and you’re overweight, losing even a few pounds can make a big difference.
9. Add Potassium to Your Diet
Potassium helps to regulate your heart rate, ease tension in the walls of your blood vessels, and reduce the effects of sodium on the body. Plus, it has plenty of other health benefits like protecting against loss of muscle mass, preserving bone mineral density, and reducing the formation of kidney stones.
While taking supplements might seem like an easy solution, you can get plenty of potassium by making positive changes to your diet. Eat a diet rich in heart-healthy foods like bananas, leafy green vegetables, beans, seeds, and nuts for the best results.
10. Cut Back on Caffeine
Drinking caffeine can cause a short term spike in blood pressure. So, if you’re wondering how to temporarily lower blood pressure, you might want to skip that morning cup.
While it isn’t clear whether or not drinking coffee in moderation can lead to permanently increased blood pressure, switching to decaf definitely won’t hurt.
Over-caffeinating can also elevate stress levels and up your heart rate, both of which are proven to impact heart health negatively.
11. Quit Smoking
Every cigarette you smoke causes a temporary increase in blood pressure. Plus, the harmful chemicals found in tobacco are known to damage blood vessels. So, this habit is especially unhealthy when it comes to your heart.
Because smoking and high blood pressure both raise the risk of heart disease, quitting can help reduce your risks for multiple medical conditions.
It also makes healthy habits like exercise easier to incorporate into your daily routine.
Making the Change
While making significant changes to your lifestyle might seem intimidating, the process can actually be quite easy.
Start with one or two of these natural ways to lower blood pressure. Once you’ve formed new, healthy habits, try incorporating the others one by one.
Keep in mind that many healthful practices like exercising, eating well, and getting plenty of rest, go hand in hand. So, they will work better and faster when used together.
Have a look through our other articles and blog posts for more top tips on men’s health, business, technology, and more.