Worried about the recent hike in your blood pressure? Has your doctor advised you on how to achieve a lower blood pressure reading? If you are still feeling lost, then read up on some of the tips and techniques that you can use to reverse your blood pressure back to a healthy and normal level.
First things first: high blood pressure should never be taken lightly. No matter how mild the condition seems to be, sufferers of high blood pressure can subsequently face severe health consequences if they fail to take care of the problem. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can be as deadly as any other chronic disease. With an estimated 75 million Americans suffering from high blood pressure, it should not be a surprise if you are the next in line.
If you want to avoid this frustrating and dangerous condition, it may help to pick up some of these tips on how to maintain a normal and healthy blood pressure level.
Firstly, our stress level greatly affects our blood pressure reading. Generally, the more stressed you are, the higher your blood pressure will be and this is definitely not a good connection to have in our highly stressful lives. Therefore, if you can control your stress levels and keep them down as much as possible you will be doing the same for your blood pressure.
Of course, this is usually easier said than done. But stress relief doesn't have to be complicated and you don't need to make a lot of time for it. There are literally thousands of relaxation techniques to help you unwind and relieve both physical and mental tension. Basically, anything you do that you enjoy will help you to relax and divert your mind away from the office, your relationship problems or whatever it is that has you stressed out.
These include what we normally think of as hobbies or pastimes. Sadly, the amount of people taking part in old-fashioned hobbies is decreasing with every generation. But even the simplest of pleasures like taking a hot bath or shower can relax you.
Another way to prevent or reverse high blood pressure and even stress is to follow a healthy and well-balanced diet. Few people realize how much of a role the foods we eat play in regulating our blood pressure and other important health aspects.
If your blood pressure is a little bit on the high side take a look at the amount of salt you may be consuming. Eliminate or cut down on foods and snacks that are obviously salty like potato chips, salted peanuts and many other snack foods. And you need to consider more than just salt because excess sodium is actually a more complex problem. The main reason we get too much sodium in our diet is not because of too much salt but because our diet of processed foods is low in magnesium and potassium. Our bodies need the right balance of sodium, magnesium and potassium. If this balance gets out of whack our blood pressure increases. The solution to this problem is simpler than the explanation: eat a diet of whole, unprocessed and natural foods containing the correct balance of nutrients. Do this and you can't go wrong.
After salt and the other minerals you need to look at fat and cholesterol. Foods that are high in so-called bad cholesterol and saturated fats tend to form plaque in our arteries, which eventually builds up into blockages that make the heart work harder and increase blood pressure. The worst possible consequence of this process is heart failure or stroke. High blood pressure may be a warning sign that this is happening.
Again, the solution is simply a healthy and balanced natural diet. Fatty foods can be okay in moderation. In fact, a diet of up to 30% in total fat consumption can be healthy. The trick is to eat a variety of fats and to balance them with plenty of grains, fruits and vegetables that tend to counteract the effects of fat and clean the arteries.
The third major way to achieve a lower blood pressure reading is regular, moderate exercise. Everyone knows that exercise helps strengthen the heart but it has other benefits too. Exercise releases hormones and increases metabolism, which also helps “burn" away fats and cholesterol before they can build up and block blood vessels.
And of course exercise, preferably aerobic, burns calories, reducing excess weight that also puts a load on the heart and increases your blood pressure. Aerobic exercise such as running, rowing, dancing or even walking briskly is better for this purpose.
Anaerobic exercise, which includes weight lifting and other strenuous but short bouts of exertion, can actually increase blood pressure so you should avoid this type of exercise until you get your blood pressure down to normal.
Hypertension is a complicated condition that even doctors still don't fully understand. But these three approaches to reducing blood pressure levels - stress, diet and exercise - are tried and proven to affect blood pressure in the vast majority of people. At the same time, improving in these three areas will give you countless related health benefits and personal satisfaction.
Jan Oliver is an academic, writer and researcher in Natural Health. Discover the genuine natural ways to lower blood pressure immediately. Click Here to get your free report on dealing with high blood pressure.