You may lower your blood pressure and lower your risk of heart disease by implementing these 10 lifestyle modifications.

If you have high blood pressure, you might wonder if you need to take medication to lower the readings. Changing lifestyle has been the greatest first step to live  healthy and it also helps manage high blood pressure. By adopting a healthy lifestyle you can improve blood pressure control, postpone, eliminate or reduce the need to take blood pressure drugs. To maintain good blood pressure you also need to keep your kidneys healthy through out your life.

Below are 10 great lifestyle changes you can apply to lower high blood pressure.

1. Consider losing weight.

Weight gain frequently causes an increase in blood pressure. Overweight people are more likely to develop sleep apnea, which interferes with breathing while you're asleep, in addition to having higher blood pressure.

Reducing on your weight is one of the best and effective lifestyle changes that helps many decrease blood pressure If you are overweight or obese, even a small weight decrease can help lower blood pressure. In general, each kilogram (2.2 pounds) of weight dropped may result in a reduction in blood pressure of roughly 1 millimeter of mercury (mm Hg).

   Read also: Here are 4 causes of men's weak erection

The size of the waistline is also crucial. High blood pressure risk can be increased by carrying too much weight around the waist.

Note that:

  • Men whose waist measures greater than 40 inches(102cm) tend to be at risk
  • Women who have a waist measurement larger than 35 inches (89 cm) are at danger.

2. Do Exercises regularly 

Regular physical activity can lower high blood pressure by 5 to 8 mm Hg. Exercise must be continued in order to keep blood pressure from rising again. As a general goal, strive for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day.

Exercise can also prevent hypertension (high blood pressure) from developing in cases of raised blood pressure. Regular exercise can help people with hypertension lower their blood pressure to a safe level.

Aerobic exercise, such as walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, or dancing, can reduce blood pressure. Another choice is high-intensity interval training. During this type of training, quick bursts of hard exercise are broken up by slower activity periods.

Additionally, strength exercise helps lower blood pressure. Engage in strenuous activities at least twice in a week . Consult a healthcare professional about creating an exercise plan.

3. Start eating a healthy diet.

A diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products can reduce high blood pressure by up to 11 mm Hg. Two dietary plans that can lower blood pressure are the Mediterranean diet and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.

Potassium in the diet can reduce the blood pressure-raising effects of salt (sodium). Supplements are not as effective at providing potassium as food, such as fruits and vegetables.  Aim for 3,500 to 5,000 mg per day, which may result in a 4–5 mm Hg reduction in blood pressure. To find out how much potassium you need, talk to your doctor.

4. Reduce sodium (salt) intake 

The heart's health can be improved and high blood pressure can be decreased by 5 to 6 mm Hg with even a slight reduction in sodium intake.

Different groups of people have different effects of salt intake on blood pressure. In general, keep your sodium intake at 2,300 mg or less per day. But for most adults, a salt consumption of 1,500 mg or less per day is recommended.

Here is how to reduce salt in your diet:

  • Check for sodium in foods labels.  always go for foods that has low amount of sodium.
  • Reduce eating processed foods. Naturally foods have low sodium but for processed foods tends to have more of it because they add during processing.
  • Avoid adding salt to foods when eating. When eating foods do not add salt. Salt added when cooking is enough for the normal body the extra is useless and troublesome to your health.

5. Reduce intake of alcohol.

A daily alcohol intake limit of fewer than one drink for women and two for men can help reduce blood pressure by roughly 4 mm Hg. Twelve ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, or one and a half ounces of 80-proof liquor make up one drink. 

However, excessive alcohol use can cause a multi-point increase in blood pressure. In addition, alcohol reduces the effectiveness of high blood pressure drugs.

6. Avoid or stop smoking

Blood pressure is raised by smoking. Blood pressure can be lowered by quitting smoking. Quitting smoking is beneficial to your health at large and reduces heart diseases therefore you will have a longer lifespan and good quality of life.

7. Have enough sleep

Having poor sleep for several weeks or sleeping less than 6 hours for many weeks can worsen high blood pressure. Sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and insomnia are just a few of the conditions that can make it difficult to fall asleep. Having poor sleep is a case that should not make you sit back and relax. Tell your health care worker for help because it can affect many of your health aspects including poor immune performance. To improve sleep you need to identify the cause of your poor sleep and at the health center the health worker will be able to help find it and treatment. However, if you don't suffer from sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome, use these straightforward suggestions to enjoy more comfortable sleep.

  • Create and stick to a sleep schedule. Make sure to try by all means to sleep at same time and wake up at the same time most of the days. 
  • Make your sleep environment restful.  Cool environment is idea for a good sleep and avoid light from phones or TV an hour before bedtime. The dark, cool and silent environment will improve your sleep hours and improve your health.
  • Monitor what you eat and drinks.  Avoid sleeping with abnormally full or empty stomach. Drinks that contains caffeine or nicotine should be avoided because they will make you fail to sleep. There is currently an outbreak of so many types of  energy drinks that you maybe tempted to take. Avoid them because most energy drinks contains high concentration of caffeine that hinders your sleep.
  • Avoid long naps. Taking naps for longer during daytime can affect your night's sleep. You will tend to have enough sleep at night so do not disturb it with naps for more than 30 minutes. 

8. Manage and reduce stress.

High blood pressure may be exacerbated by long-term (chronic) emotional stress. If stress reduction approaches can lower blood pressure, more study is required on their effects.

Nevertheless, it can't harm to identify the sources of stress, such as work, family, finances, or disease, and focus on reducing them. Take a look at this:

  • Avoid overworking yourself. Find time to just sit and relax by managing your time better. Put a plan on doing things and work on your priorities so you do not miss important things in the name of relaxing because untouched works will stress you more. Learn to say no to some things, learn to knock off from work and feel your mind with personal relaxing things. Stay simple by living under your means
  • Avoid stressors. People or situations can cause stress. Know those things and people who cause you stress out so you can avoid. 
  • Understand things. Know that there are issues you can change and those you can't. Make changes to what you can and forget what you can't change.
  • Make plans to relax. Just a simple decision to stay away from all serious things is enough to make you reduce stress. Relax whenever possible its important because the complications of stress can surely make your entire life miserable.
  • Avoid believing in fake lives. Especially social media has brought a lot of misinformation and has built a lot of beliefs to people with wrong or fake impressions. There are a lot of fake displays of luxurious  lives making people feel like they are left behind when in actual sense it's a total fictitious. Advertising Companies are good at giving expensive items (cloths, suits, smartphones, automobiles e.t.c) to some public figures just to create impression that everyone should live that kind of life. By doing so many people are getting stressed emotionally. 
control high blood pressure
Image Credit: Freepik. Three guys having fun 

9. Monitor blood pressure at home and get medical checkups regularly.

Use a blood pressure machine to monitor your blood pressure at home for easy determination whether or not your medications and lifestyle changes are working for you. It will also be able to give you an action once you see changes in reading of your blood pressure in case you need to see the doctor immediately.
There are several and non-prescription options for home blood pressure monitors. For correct monitoring of your BP make sure to get guidance from health worker for useful interpretation of readings.

Controlling blood pressure also requires frequent visits to a doctor. If your blood pressure is under control, ask your doctor how frequently you should have it checked. There's a chance you'll only be able to check it once a day or less.

10. Find supportive friends and family.

Good health depends on having loving family and friends. If you want to lower your blood pressure, they might start an exercise program with you, drive you to the doctor's office, or urge you to take care of yourself. Consider joining a support group if you discover that you require assistance outside of your family and friends. This may connect you with individuals who can enhance your mood or spirit and provide you with helpful advice on how to manage your condition.