The ONE organ responsible for high blood pressure.
10 Tips To Lower Your Blood Pressure
What is the main cause of high blood pressure? What causes high blood pressure? High blood pressure usually develops over time. It can happen because of unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as not getting enough regular physical activity. Certain health conditions, such as diabetes and having obesity, can also increase the risk for developing high blood pressure.
Effective ways to lower your blood pressure
1. Increase activity and exercise moreA meta-analysis of 65 studies suggests that aerobic and resistance exercise can significantly lower blood pressure, especially for men. In a 2013 study, sedentary older adults who participated in aerobic exercise training lowered their blood pressure by an average of 3.9 percent systolic and 4.5 percent diastolic. These results are as good as some blood pressure medications. As you regularly increase your heart and breathing rates, over time your heart gets stronger and pumps with less effort. This puts less pressure on your arteries and lowers your blood pressure. How much activity should you strive for? A 2019 report by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association advises moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity for 40-minute sessions, three to four times per week. If finding 40 minutes at a time is a challenge, there may still be benefits when the time is divided into three or four 10- to 15-minute segments throughout the day. The American College of Sports Medicine makes similar recommendations. But you don’t have to run marathons. Increasing your activity level can be as simple as:
- using the stairs
- walking instead of driving
- doing household chores
- going for a bike ride
- playing a team sport
- Just do it regularly and work up to at least half an hour per day of moderate activity.
- aerobic exercise
- resistance training
- high-intensity interval training
- short bouts of exercise throughout the day
- walking 10,000 steps a day
2. Lose weight if you’re overweightIf you’re overweight, losing 5 to 10 pounds can reduce your blood pressure. Plus, you’ll lower your risk of other potential medical problems. A review of several studies reports that weight loss diets reduced blood pressure by an average of 3.2 mm Hg diastolic and 4.5 mm Hg systolic.
3. Cut back on sugar and refined carbohydratesMany studies show that restricting sugar and refined carbohydrates can help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure. Sugar, especially fructose, may increase your blood pressure more than salt, according to one 2014 review. In trials lasting at least 8 weeks, sugar increased blood pressure by 5.6 mm Hg diastolic and 6.9 mm Hg systolic. A 2020 study that compared various popular diets found that for people who with more weight or obesity, low carb and low fat diets lowered their diastolic blood pressure by an average of about 5 mm Hg and their systolic blood pressure 3 mm Hg after 6 months. Another benefit of a low carb, low sugar diet is that you feel fuller longer, because you’re consuming more protein and fat.
4. Eat more potassium and less sodiumIncreasing your potassium intake and cutting back on salt can also lower your blood pressure. Potassium is a double winner: It lessens the effects of salt in your system and eases tension in your blood vessels. However, diets rich in potassium may be harmful to people with kidney disease, so talk with your doctor before increasing your potassium intake. It’s easy to eat more potassium. So many foods are naturally high in potassium. Here are a few:
- low fat dairy foods, such as milk and yogurt
- fruits, such as bananas, apricots, avocados, and oranges
- vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, tomatoes, greens, and spinach
- low sodium foods
- fruits and vegetables
- low fat dairy
- whole grains
- fewer sweets and red meats
5. Eat less processed foodMost of the extra salt in your diet comes from processed foods and foods from restaurants, not your salt shaker at home (18Trusted Source). Popular high salt items include:
- deli meats
- canned soup