It is not easy to lower blood pressure immediately. However, by changing certain behavioral habits, one may be able to keep blood pressure low and avoid blood pressure spikes.
People with high blood pressure have a systolic reading of 130 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or higher or a diastolic reading of 80 mm Hg or higher. Systolic pressure is the pressure when the heart beats, while diastolic pressure is the pressure between heartbeats. High blood pressure is a common cause of heart disease. It can also increase the risk of other complications, such as stroke.
Here are some tips that can help lower your blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a chronic and lifelong problem for which there is no immediate solution. However, certain behaviors taken just before a blood pressure measurement can affect the measurement, causing it to be higher than it would otherwise be.
How to properly take your blood pressure
You can get an accurate reading of your blood pressure, and maybe even lower it, by taking the following steps:
– Take blood pressure correctly: A cuff that is too small or that a person puts on over their clothes can raise the reading. You should not cross your legs or tense your body while reading.
– Rest before taking your blood pressure: Getting up and walking immediately before sitting down to take your blood pressure can artificially inflate it.
– Manage stress or anxiety: High stress can raise blood pressure. Therefore, it is best to try to take your blood pressure after you get the results of medical tests, not before. You can also try to take your blood pressure after meditating or breathing deeply.
– Abstain from smoking: The nicotine in cigarettes can elevate blood pressure for about 30 minutes, so it is best to avoid smoking shortly before a blood pressure test.
– Emptying the bladder: A full bladder can slightly increase blood pressure.
– Stay silent: Talking while reading can increase it.
– Avoid caffeine and alcohol: Both caffeine and alcohol can raise blood pressure, especially when a person drinks to excess. Abstaining on the day of the measurement will provide a more accurate result.
Changing your diet to lower your blood pressure
A nutritious, balanced diet can help a person significantly lower blood pressure, often without the need for medication. You can try :
– Reduce sodium intake: Sodium is one of the main culprits of high blood pressure. Since not all sodium-rich foods taste salty, food labels should be checked. Aim for an intake of 2,300 milligrams of sodium or less per day.
– Eat less fat: People looking to reduce their fat intake should strive to limit or avoid trans and saturated fats.
– Eat less sugar: Foods high in sugar can raise blood pressure and cause unwanted weight gain. They may also contain high levels of sodium.
– Avoid condiments: Consider using herbs and spices instead of condiments, as many condiments are high in sodium.
– Avoid red meat: You should avoid or reduce your consumption of red meat, such as pork, beef and lamb.
– Eat a balanced diet: A balanced diet is one that includes a wide variety of whole grains, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and low-fat proteins, such as grilled chicken or tofu.
Certain supplements can help a person lower their blood pressure. For example, a 2016 review found that taking potassium supplements can help lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Drinks to eliminate
Eliminate beverages that raise blood pressure. In addition to changing your diet, you can think about your beverage choices, which can also help measure your blood pressure.
Caffeine can temporarily raise blood pressure in some people. Reducing caffeine intake, or eliminating it, can help a person improve their blood pressure.
Chronic alcohol consumption, especially at high levels, can elevate blood pressure, lead to weight gain, and increase the risk of heart disease. A 2017 meta-analysis found that people who drank more than six alcoholic beverages a day had the greatest reduction in blood pressure if they reduced that consumption by 50% or more.
Take your medications correctly
Blood pressure medications, such as beta-blockers or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, will help lower and maintain her blood pressure. However, one should always take his medication according to the instructions of his doctor.
Medications may be a good option for people whose blood pressure does not respond to other interventions.
To manage stress
Stress temporarily increases blood pressure. This is why a person who feels anxious at the doctor may have higher blood pressure, which is called white coat syndrome. Chronic stress can also cause persistent hypertension. Techniques to help a person relieve stress can also help them manage their blood pressure.
Some strategies may include
– deep breathing
– cardiac coherence
– avoid stressful situations, as much as possible
– implement strategies, such as better time management, to limit known stressors
– mindfulness meditation
A 2018 study found that mindfulness meditation could lower clinically measured blood pressure within 8 weeks.
Behavioral habits to lower blood pressure
Adopting certain behavioral habits can both prevent and treat high blood pressure. Suggest these tactics to those wishing to prevent or manage high blood pressure:
– Exercising daily
Increasing daily activity, for example, by spending more time walking and less time driving, is beneficial to health. Any activity that elevates the heart rate can help a person lower their blood pressure over time. Aim for at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity physical activity per week.
– Maintain a moderate body weight: The same behavioral factors that can cause a person to gain weight, such as being sedentary or eating too much fat, can also lead to obesity.
– Manage other health conditions: Diabetes, kidney disease, and certain other medical conditions can lead to high blood pressure. Treating these conditions can reduce the risk.
Blood pressure and your brain. (2019).
Choi, EJ, et al. (2011). The impact of bladder distension on blood pressure in middle aged women.
Filippini, T., et al. (2016). The effect of potassium supplementation on blood pressure in hypertensive subjects: A systematic review and meta-analysis (Abstract).
Heart disease & kidney disease. (2016).
Marquez, PHP, et al. (2018). Benefits of mindfulness meditation in reducing blood pressure and stress in patients with arterial hypertension (Abstract).