The experts at Apex Medical Center are experienced in treating numerous chronic conditions. Happily, some such conditions, such as high blood pressure, can be treated through natural interventions, such as lifestyle adjustments.
About one-third of adult Americans have high blood pressure, or hypertension. Hypertension is a problem because it can damage your arteries and lead to life-threatening situations such as heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure. There are effective medications for lowering blood pressure, but you may be interested in these more natural approaches, which have the benefit of improving your overall health as well as lowering your blood pressure.
1. Eat right, exercise, lose weight
You’ve heard it a million times, and that’s because following a nutritious and balanced diet, along with regular exercise, are two of the most important things you can do for your overall health. By eating appropriately and exercising, you’ll also likely lose any excess weight you may need to lose, as well.
A healthy diet consists of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. There are many resources available to help you design a diet that is both appealing and nutritious. If you need help, our staff is happy to give you guidance.
The American Heart Association recommends most people should exercise vigorously for 150 minutes each week. That works out to 30 minutes per day for five days a week, or you can break it up in any other way that works for you, as long as you’re moving for about two and a half hours per week.
The exercise doesn’t have to be elaborate. A brisk walk is sufficient, but the most important thing is to find an activity that you enjoy. Whether you join a neighborhood sports league, swim, or take classes at your local gym, just make sure you're raising your heart rate and doing it consistently.
2. Lower the amount of sodium you eat
If you’re like most people, you probably think about the shaker on your table when you think about salt. However, the truth is that there’s sodium in nearly everything you eat.
Many foods, such as canned soup, have much more sodium than you probably think. Frozen foods, breads, and most any prepared foods have higher amounts of sodium than most people realize. Try tracking your sodium intake for a week to get a baseline.
Once you know how much sodium you’re consuming on average, you can begin working on lowering it. Eating fresh foods, cooking for yourself, and following a balanced diet can help. Talk to your doctor at Apex about setting a good goal for yourself.
3. Drink less alcohol and don’t smoke at all
You already know smoking is bad for you. We don’t need to tell you to quit because you know you should.
We do want you to know that we may be able to help if you’re struggling to quit. We can offer resources, advice, and support that you may not know about.
If you have hypertension, you need to limit the amount of alcohol you consume. For men, the recommendation is two or fewer drinks per day, and for women it’s no more than one drink per day.
4. Lower your stress levels
“Cut out stress” is much easier to say than to do! But, there are some simple steps you can take that may help. If you’re already exercising, you may have already noticed a reduction in the stress you feel.
Other things that can help are practicing deep breathing or meditation, spending regular, scheduled time on a hobby or activity that you enjoy, and getting an adequate amount of sleep.
5. Monitor your blood pressure and see your doctor
If you choose to make the changes suggested in this post to lower your blood pressure, you should monitor your blood pressure at home, and see your doctor regularly. Sometimes natural interventions aren’t enough and you need medication. Don’t risk your health by not monitoring the situation.
If you’d like to learn more about hypertension, book an appointment at Apex Medical Center today. We have three locations, and you can book at the one of your choice online or by phone.