These changes and improvements to a person’s lifestyle will help naturally lower blood pressure, increasing longevity and overall health.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a serious health problem and a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Blood pressure also tends to increase as we age, so we should have our blood pressure checked regularly. If your doctor has given you this diagnosis, there’s no time to lose in bringing your pressure down and improving your overall health. You should absolutely follow all medical advice, but also try these lifestyle improvements, all of which are enjoyable methods of lowering your blood pressure naturally.
15 Ways to Naturally Improve Blood Pressure
1. Move your body
Regular exercise makes your heart stronger and more efficient, allowing it to move more blood with each beat, putting less pressure on your arteries.
2. Practice relaxing
Try creating a habit of regular meditation and breathing exercises. Over time, relaxation techniques create lasting changes in the body and brain that will make you more resistant to BP-increasing stress hormones.
3. Get good sleep
Try to get seven to eight hours of good quality sleep each night. A rested body is a body that can relax easier, experience less stress and naturally keep blood pressure lower.
4. Lose some weight
If you’re at all overweight, losing even five pounds has been proven to lower blood pressure.
5. Cut simple carbs from your diet
Sugar and refined carbohydrates have been demonstrated to increase weight and lower a person’s overall health. Diets that avoid simple carbs steer people towards more natural foods with better protein and healthy fat content.
6. Avoid sodium
Eating fewer processed foods will also help you cut back on sodium. Higher-salt diets have been linked to hypertension. Look instead for more food sources of potassium, which is a mineral proven to help lower blood pressure. Beans, spinach and bananas are all-natural sources of potassium.
7. Quit smoking
The chemicals in cigarettes and other tobacco products increase your heart rate and harden your arteries—a perfect prescription for hypertension. Secondhand smoke affects the body in the same way, so encourage people around you to quit smoking, too.
8. Drink only in moderation
Some evidence suggests that moderate amounts of alcohol can actually help lower blood pressure. However, it’s clear that drinking past moderation increases blood pressure and can lead to a whole host of other health problems. To avoid these excessive levels, men should have no more than two standard drinks in a single day, and women should limit themselves to just one.
9. Eat dark chocolate
Good news for chocolate lovers: dark chocolate contains flavanols, natural compounds that increase blood flow and relax blood vessels. Just try to avoid added sugar. The darker the chocolate, the better.
10. Try blood pressure–improving supplements
Certain herbal supplements, such as celery juice and ginger root, may help lower blood pressure. Just remember that it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor about any supplements, which can sometimes interfere with prescription medication.
11. Sit less
Avoid passive, sedentary activities. Keep moving with interesting tasks that activate your muscles and keep you more engaged with life.
12. Work less
People that work more than 40 hours per week tend to have higher stress levels. Staying late in the office also eats up time that may otherwise have been spent enjoying more relaxing activities, such as lounging at home or spending time with friends and family.
13. Ease up on caffeine
The exciting effects of caffeine also increase heart rate, leading to a period of about an hour when your blood pressure will be increased. Consider decaf coffee, which tastes the same without making your heart beat harder.
14. Drink more tea
Tea is naturally lower in caffeine than coffee. Tea leaves are also rich in polyphenols, which some research identifies as having a natural positive effect on blood pressure.
15. Listen to good music
More relaxing genres of music, including classical and choral, can help you slow down and relax, keep your heart rate down and your arterial pressure low. It’s probably best to avoid heavy metal.
In addition to following your doctor’s advice, incorporating these lifestyle factors is the most effective way to lower your blood pressure. Lower blood pressure will keep you healthier, longer. And we all know good health is the foundation of a happy life.