High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a silent killer because it rarely has visible symptoms. While it does not look like a threat right away, it is, in fact, a significant factor for death due to cardiac ailments and even stroke. On average, studies show that hypertension is one of the leading causes of death in the US. However, with so much more awareness being raised concerning health and nutrition, we may be able to control this deadly killer. With studies showing that one in three Americans suffer from hypertension, it is high time we learned how to lower blood pressure. To help you guys out in doing so, here’s a look at some sure-fire ways to lower your blood pressure instantly.
What is Blood Pressure?
In essence, blood pressure gauges how forcefully your heart pumps blood, and how much resistance your vessels give to this flow. Therefore, people who have narrow vessels will have higher blood pressure. Blood pressure is usually measured in the standard way of measuring pressure, that is, in millimeters of mercury. However, the measurement of blood pressure requires the analysis of two components. Here’s a quick look at what those are:
- Systolic blood pressure. This the pressure that your blood vessels feel when your heart beats, and it is denoted as the top number.
- Diastolic blood pressure. This number represents the pressure felt in your blood vessels between beats, or when your heart isn’t beating, but resting. This number is usually denoted as the denominator or second number.
What is Normal or Healthy Blood Pressure?
In general, any pressure reading falling below 120/80 (mm-Hg) is regarded as normal and healthy. Anything falling above 130/80 (mm-Hg), however, spells trouble and should be looked into at the earliest. Such category people have elevated pressure and must ensure that they follow a better diet, or exercise more often so that they don’t develop hypertension. One of the good things about hypertension is that it can be naturally treated. Bringing forth positive changes in your daily life and diet can go a long way in helping you reduce your pressure. Let’s see how we can do just that.
How to Lower Blood Pressure Instantly
Studies have shown that a sedentary and low-exercise lifestyle can go a long way in making you susceptible to developing hypertension. However, studies also show that sedentary adults who picked up aerobics as a form of exercise training were able to lower their blood pressure by around 4%. It is highly motivating to note that some of the most successful pressure medications also reduce pressure at the same level.
The more you exercise, the healthier you make your heart. Any form of exercise that makes you breathe hard for a few minutes ought to do the trick. Having to beat faster for extended periods strengthens your cardiac muscles, improving heart health. As the heart gets stronger, it requires less effort to pump blood, which leads to lower blood pressure. Moderate to vigorous activity for a period of 40-minutes a day will help strengthen your cardiac muscles. Simple exercises which can help you better your health condition are:
- Working up a sweat on the stairs
- Walk, rather than drive.
- Invest time in doing household chores
- Extensive gardening
- Long bike rides
- Playing sports
- Tai Chi
- Take up boxing
You have a higher chance of developing hypertension if you are overweight. Therefore, in case you have a high BMI, try to lose some excess weight. Even a 5 to 10-pound difference can help prevent the onset of high blood pressure. Furthermore, losing weight will also help prevent other diseases, such as obesity-related cardiac issues. Studies show that weight loss helps in reducing blood pressure by about 3.5 (mm-Hg) on an average.
Cut out Sugar
Following a keto diet can go a long way in helping you control your blood pressure. Both sugar and carbs contribute to weight gain and an increase in blood pressure. By cutting out sugar and refined carbs from your diet, you will be able to lose weight and maintain healthy blood pressure. When low-fat and low-carb diets are compared, it has been found that the low-carb diet is a lot more effective in lowering blood pressure. On average, such a diet helped in reducing pressure by over 4 (mm-Hg) units.
More Intake of Potassium, Rather Than Sodium
Try to increase your potassium intake, and lower your sodium intake, as Potassium not only lowers your pressure but also helps in easing tension. However, in case you suffer from any kidney ailments, make sure you consult a doctor before taking in too much Potassium. Include more yogurt, fish, apricots, avocadoes, tomatoes, and spinach in your diet for a healthy portion of Potassium.
Avoid Junk Food
Processed food contains a lot of salt, refined carbs, and sugar, all of which are bad for heart health. Therefore, try to eat less processed food, and depend more on meals cooked at home. Avoid fast-food restaurants and diners to improve your cardiac health. Say goodbye to deli meats, chips, greasy pizzas, and canned soup to reduce your blood pressure.
Say NO to Nicotine
Smoking is a deadly habit that has several ill-effects, such as an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. Stop smoking to improve your overall health and well-being. Over the long term, smoking leads to chemicals in tobacco, damaging your blood vessels and narrowing your arteries. This leads to heart attacks, strokes, inflammation, and hypertension.
Meditate and Relax
Stress is a silent killer that creeps up on us when we least expect it to. Therefore, we must actively reduce excess stress by finding ways to relax and chill. Effective ways include listening to music, playing a sport, working out at the gym, taking up yoga, and meditating. Both mindfulness and meditation, which yoga teaches, can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle.
Other Effective Ways to Lower Blood Pressure:
- Eating dark chocolate with over 60% cacao regularly.
- Drink celery juice
- Substitute soda with green tea
- Make sure you get enough sleep.
- Take in enough garlic.
- Eat high-protein foods
- Avoid or drink less alcohol.
- Reduce your caffeine intake
- Eat more berries
- Eat calcium-rich and magnesium-rich foods.
Controlling your blood pressure will definitely help you lower your risk of heart disease. In case you have already been diagnosed, make sure you consult your doctor to see whether you need prescription medicine for your condition. If so, make sure you take them on time every day to lower your risk of making things worse. If you are on the borderline, use these tips to lower your blood pressure instantly, and say hello to a healthier life.