Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, affects one–third of all adults in the United States—and less than half of the people with high blood pressure have it under control. High blood pressure can cause serious health problems without showing any warning signs.
5 Ways to Naturally Reduce High Blood Pressure
- Regular physical activity – It’s no secret that regular physical activity helps to keep you in good health. Not only does exercise help control high blood pressure, it also helps you manage your weight, strengthen your heart and lower your stress level.
- Eat less salt – Most people eat too much salt without realizing it. The American Heart Association estimates that the average American eats about 3,400 mg of sodium a day. However, the recommended daily intake is 2,300 mg, with an ideal limit of less than 1,500 mg per day, especially for those with high blood pressure.
- Add more potassium to your diet – Not only does potassium help regulate heart rate, it can also reduce the effects of sodium in the body. Potassium helps your body get rid of sodium and also eases tension in your blood vessel walls, both of which help to further lower blood pressure.
- Limit alcohol consumption – Some research shows that drinking alcohol in moderation can benefit your heart. However, too much alcohol consumed at one time can cause a sudden spike in your blood pressure.
- However, chronic stress may put you at risk for a variety of long-term health issues, including high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Stress can also increase your blood pressure levels if your coping mechanisms involve eating unhealthy food, drinking alcohol or smoking. Some methods to help alleviate or deal with stress include:
- Reframing your mindset. Focus on the things you can control, instead of worrying about situations that are out of your hands. Many times, our anxieties stem from the “what if”—instances that might not ever occur. Putting those thoughts into perspective and reminding yourself to stay present can help calm those worries.
- Avoid stress triggers. Try to avoid putting yourself in unnecessary stressful situations. For example, try leaving for work a few minutes early to beat rush-hour traffic.
- Practice gratitude. Acknowledging all the positives in our lives often helps to shift the focus away from what we want or what we are lacking. In addition, outwardly expressing gratitude to others can also help reduce feelings of stress.
- Take time to relax and enjoy. Carve out time for things that bring you joy. Whether that’s eating a good meal, spending time with loved ones or listening to an interesting podcast on your commute, find time to incorporate small moments of enjoyment throughout the day.