High blood pressure is a health condition where pressure in the arteries is elevated above normal levels. If left untreated, it can lead to health issues ranging from heart disease to vision problems, to kidney failure, and stroke. High blood pressure can often be treated using medication, however there are also natural methods for managing hypertension. We have outlined these methods before.
In this guide we explore the various ways of lowering blood pressure solely through natural methods.
Regularly engaging in exercise has measurable benefits for lowering blood pressure. A 2016 study showed BP was reduced after exercise, with a greater reduction in “physically active individuals who were not yet medicated”.
Exercise strengthens the heart, reduces the force on the arteries, and gradually makes blood flow more efficiently around the body. By lowering blood pressure levels, the risk of hypertension and heart-related conditions is also reduced.
Studies have shown that lowering salt intake has measurable benefits for lowering blood pressure. This is particularly the case for salts containing sodium. The impact of salt on blood pressure varies on the person, but the recommended limit is around 1,500mg-2300 mg a day for adults.
There are various ways to lower sodium intake, including:
Drinking alcohol in more than moderate amounts on a regular basis can have detrimental impacts on your overall health, including raising blood pressure above normal levels. Alcohol also reduces the effectiveness of blood pressure medication, and is linked to increased weight gain, another cause of elevated blood pressure.
Life can be stressful. Work, family commitments and wider societal changes can all contribute to stress, which consequently leads to elevated levels of blood pressure. Not only is reducing stress a good idea for your mental health, it also has benefits for your physical health and blood pressure.
The avenues to reducing stress vary depending on the individual. Some people find that relaxing activities such as meditation or reading help them reduce stress, while other people prefer engaging in physical activity. Listening to music or watching a comedy are also common ways of reducing stress. Whichever method you choose, make sure to engage in it regularly to reduce your levels of stress.
Monitoring your blood pressure at home can help track your blood pressure and ensure that your lifestyle changes are working. It can also flag any signs of health complications and alert both you and your doctor.
You can also organise regular visits with your doctor to help control and monitor your blood pressure. Your doctor will be able to advise you how often you will need to take a blood pressure reading, and whether it would be beneficial to take home readings as well.
Blood pressure medication can be an effective way to treat high blood pressure. However, it is always advisable to take steps to lower blood pressure naturally as well, whether it’s reducing your sodium intake or engaging in regular physical activity.
Always speak to your doctor to see what the best course of action is for you.