Living with hypertension, or altapresyon, as it’s often referred to colloquially, can be difficult. People with this condition have to make sure that their blood pressure stays at a normal level; if they don’t, their blood vessels can get damaged and experience decreased blood flow to the heart, which can lead to heart failure. Aside from this, those with high blood pressure also have a higher risk of experiencing the following health problems and complications:
- Heart attack
- Kidney failure
- Memory problems
Fortunately, there are medicines that help prevent blood pressure levels from spiking. However, taking hypertension medication won’t be enough to keep hypertension at bay. It’s also vital to make healthy lifestyle choices to properly manage the condition.
If you’re having trouble controlling your blood pressure levels, even when taking your medication, now is the best time to start making changes. Practicing the following habits can leave a huge impact on your health:
Eat a Healthy Diet
Managing the symptoms of hypertension is more challenging if you’re overweight. With more fatty tissue in your blood vessels, your blood circulation becomes less optimal. Thus, your heart needs to work harder to ensure that your entire body has ample blood flow and this can lead to an increase your blood pressure levels. That’s why losing weight is one of the most effective ways to keep your blood pressure in check.
A great way to start your weight loss journey is to eat healthy food. In particular, eating less processed foods and cutting back on snacks that are high in sugar and refined carbohydrates can help you shed some pounds. On the other hand, eating foods that are rich in potassium and low in sodium can ease the tension in your blood vessels and thus lower your blood pressure.
Before configuring your diet, however, it’s best to consult your doctor first. Some of the changes may be harmful to your health, especially if you have other health conditions like kidney disease.
Keep Your Body Moving
Staying active can also help you lose more weight. Low-impact workouts like walking and swimming, as well as simple activities like doing household chores, can increase your heart rate and lower your blood pressure.
You don’t have to strain yourself or lose a ton of weight to keep your blood pressure levels at a safe range. Your goal is to keep your waistline below 40 inches (102 centimeters) if you’re male and below 35 inches (89 centimeters) if you’re female.
Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
Taking your medication while drinking alcohol regularly is a bad mix. Alcohol may prevent your medicine from doing its job, so it’s smart to limit your alcohol intake. It’s recommended that women should drink no more than one alcoholic drink per day while men should drink no more than two. Alcoholic beverages that are considered standard drinks include the following:
- One 12-ounce beer
- 5 ounces of wine,
- 1.50 ounces of distilled spirits
If you’re a heavy smoker, you should stop smoking ASAP. Not only does smoking harm your respiratory health, but it also increases your blood pressure. The chemicals in tobacco damage your blood vessel walls, which leads to the inflammation and narrowing of your arteries. It’s hard to resist the temptation of lighting a cigarette, but there are many healthy ways that can help you fight the urge. Some of these methods include the following:
- Set a quitting date
- Take smoking cessation aids
- Ask friends and family to help you stick to your commitment
Consider Taking Herbal Medicine and Natural Supplements
Studies have shown that certain herbal and natural remedies can help hypertension patients. Supplementing your doctor-prescribed medication with herbal medicine and natural supplements can greatly lower your blood pressure levels. If you’re interested in including these remedies to manage your blood pressure, you can add the following ingredients to your diet:
- Green and oolong tea
Sleep More and Stress About Things Less
Your blood pressure actually lowers when you’re asleep, so getting a good night’s rest is crucial when managing hypertension. Sleeping for 7 to 8 hours is ideal for your body to recuperate. However, a lot of people are finding it difficult to get restful sleep, which can lead to stress and an increase in blood pressure levels. To help you sleep better, you should try doing the following:
- Reduce the number of naps you take in the day
- Avoid drinking caffeinated drinks in the evening
- Set a sleep schedule
- Create a relaxing sleeping environment
It can be challenging to keep your blood pressure levels in check. However, simple lifestyle changes like eating healthier food and exercising regularly can make a big difference leave a positive impact on your well-being. Over time, these healthy habits will make it easier to manage hypertension, so you can live your life to its fullest without worry.