The emphasis on healthy lifestyles has not changed over the generations. An unhealthy diet coupled with sedentary lifestyles and obesity invariably leads to hypertension and associated complications. This is why it’s very important to make healthy changes in lifestyles to successfully control high blood pressure and reduce the risk of other associated health complications. Here are 5 effective ways to help lower your blood pressure level and keep it down.
• Eat Healthy:
Eating a diet which includes lean meat, poultry, fish, whole grains, legumes, unsalted nuts, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products will prove beneficial. Avoid foods rich in saturated fats and cholesterol. Increase the intake of foods rich in potassium as it can lessen the effects of sodium on blood pressure. Consult a doctor or nutritionist for a list of foods to eat and foods to avoid.
• Be Salt Smart:
Excessive intake of salt causes an increase in blood pressure. Hence, reduction of salt intake is important. Opt for low-sodium alternatives of the foods and beverages you usually buy. Eat fewer processed foods like potato chips, bacon, frozen dinners, and processed meats that are high in sodium. If you cannot drastically reduce the sodium in your diet, cut back gradually and your palate will adjust over time.
Obesity is amongst the most common risk factors for hypertension. An obese person’s heart has to work harder to pump blood. This in turn gives rise to hypertension. Hence, it is important to follow a balanced diet and exercise regimen. It is believed that moderate exercising on a regular basis can help lose excess weight, lower blood pressure and prevent the buildup of plaque in the arteries.
• Keep Away from Smoking and Alcohol:
Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can constrict the blood vessels, thereby reducing blood flow to the heart. This in turn causes an increase in blood pressure and also makes a person more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases. Hence, it’s best to quit smoking completely and reduce the intake of alcohol.
• Practice Slow Breathing:
Slow breathing exercises and meditative practices like yoga, qigong, and tai chi help decrease stress hormones that elevate renin, an enzyme which raises blood pressure. Inhale deeply and expand your belly, then exhale slowly. Try doing this breathing exercise 5 minutes in the morning and at night.
Often referred to as a silent killer, hypertension can have serious consequences in the long run. Hence, it is very important to keep blood pressure levels under control. There are various drugs including diuretics, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, etc., that help lower pressure levels.
Generic Toprol is one such drug that has proven very effective in treating hypertension. Toprol XL is a beta-blocker that is also used to treat angina, a condition that causes severe chest pain.
While following these tips will prove beneficial in lowering blood pressure levels, it is equally important to take the medication prescribed by your doctor.