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Your high blood pressure may prove fatal if you don't control it now!
Keeping a healthy blood pressure is easy if you adopt healthy habits. A healthy lifestyle goes a long way in ensuring that your hypertension is under control and you are out of risk zone for many other ailments like high cholesterol, heart diseases and lung failure etc. Inculcating small yet effective changes in your daily life will enhance your wellness and keep you away from the dangers of hypertension.
Healthy habits for healthy blood pressure-
Here is a list up of healthy habits you can include in your daily routine to keep your blood pressure under the normal range:
- Cut down on salt intake:
Lowering the amount of salt you consume every day if the first step to take. Processed and canned foods and ready to eat foods are full of sodium. Pickles, cheese, bread, chips, pizza, noodles etc. are some of the foods with high salt. Cutting back on salt consumption will drastically lower your blood pressure.
If you have high blood pressure then you should not eat more than 4 grams of salt in a day. Read the label on every food item you buy at the food store. Buy foods marked with ‘low salt’ or ‘no added salt’.
Avoid eating out as you cannot control sodium usage in outside foods. While cooking at home, make generous use of other condiments like ginger, pepper, oregano, parsley, lemon juice etc. to enhance the taste.
- Load up on potassium:
If you increase your intake of potassium rich food, then it will help lower your blood pressure naturally. Bananas, oranges, tomatoes, beans, lentils, Brussels sprouts, nuts are a few examples food loaded with potassium. 4700 mg of potassium is recommended for daily consumption.
- Go for super foods:
Load up on super foods which are high in anti oxidants and fibre content. Anti oxidants lower your cholesterol levels and bring down high blood pressure. Leafy greens like spinach, kale and veggies like broccoli, cabbage , cauliflower, pumpkin, carrots, onion, garlic, tomatoes, leeks are full of anti oxidants. Fruits like berries, oranges, apple, avocado, mango, kiwi, apricots, watermelon and grapes are also great sources of anti oxidants.
Herbs like thyme, garlic, parsley and oregano, green tea, nuts, seeds, legumes, low fat dairy products and whole grains are good to bring down high blood pressure.
- Control your weight:
If you are overweight or obese, losing the extra pounds will help. Even if you shed a little bit of weight, it will positively imapact your high blood pressure. Make efforts to keep your body mass index or BMI to 25 or less.
Cut down on starchy and oily foods. Foods like pizza and sweets deposit thick substance or LDL cholesterol in your arteries. As a result your arteries are blocked and your heart has to pump blood with a lot of pressure through these narrowed arteries. This causes high blood pressure. It is best to give up such high cholesterol foods and load up on high fibre veggies, fresh fruits, healthy drinks like juice and smoothies, whole grains, nuts and seeds. They boost your digestion and throw out extra cholesterol from your body. You feel full for a longer period and are less likely to binge on high calorie foods.
- Keep yourself active:
Make efforts to ditch the sedentary lifestyle and go for an active one. Go for a walk atleast for thirty minutes a day. If cannot manage it for half an hour at a stretch, go may go for fifteen minute walks twice a day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Limit your screen time in front of television, laptop or phone. Get out of your comfort zone and do some stretches. This will help you burn extra calories.
Learn sun salutations and yoga poses. They help boost your metabolism and oxygen intake. Put on some music and dance for a few minutes. This will refresh your mood as well as your metabolism.
- De-stress your mind and body:
Stress is a major factor that triggers high blood pressure. When you have too much work to do and less time, it creates stress. The best way to beat stress is to increase your energy levels. This can be done by eating healthy that keeps your energy levels high and taking adequate rest. 7-8 hours of restful sleep will help you deal with stress effectively. Deep breathing exercises and yoga are best remedies for stress induced hypertension.
- Deep breathing exercises like alternate nostril pranayama, bhramari pranayama and yogic breathing increase the oxygen intake in your brain. This helps bring down your blood pressure to normal. Avoid kapalbhati pranayama nd bhastrika pranayama as they may further shoot up your blood prssure that may be pretty dangerous. Go for slow and deep breathing that relax you.
- Yoga also helps lower high blood pressure by increasing oxygen intake and reducing the stress levels. Shavasana (Corpse pose), setu bandh asana (bridge pose), shishu asana (child's pose) and hal asana (plough pose) are great yoga postures for reducing high pressure. Make sure you are breathing deeply in each pose to derive maximum benefit. Learn and practice these breathing techniques and yoga asana under an expert's supervision to prevent injury or harm by doing things incorrectly.
- Meditation also rejuvenates and fills you up with energy. This helps you relax by lowering the stress hormone levels in your blood stream. Regular exercising also reduces stress by releasing hormones that make you feel good. All these activities help in keeping your blood pressure under control.
- Laughter therapy is another effective way of controlling hypertension. Practice belly laughter with arms raised up for a few minutes daily to enhance your lung capacity. By doing it daily, your blood oxygen level rises that helps bring down high blood pressure. You may join a local laughter club or do it at home too.
- Quit smoking:
Smoking is injurious to your health. When you smoke carbon monoxide fills up your lungs. As a result of incessant smoking, the nicotine deposits itself in your arteries. This makes your arterial passage very narrow for the blood to pass through. It puts extra pressure on your heart and your blood pressure goes spiraling up.
If you give up smoking, your high blood pressure will come under control.
- Say NO to alcohol:
Alcohol instantly hikes your blood pressure. Quit drinking alcohol in any form to keep your blood pressure under control. It makes you prone to strokes and cardiovascular diseases.
If you adopt these simple changes in your daily routine, you will find your blood pressure readings under control very soon. Small steps to a healthy lifestyle will go a long way on ensuring great wellness to you!