Health

10 quick ways to control high BP or blood pressure

Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.[1] A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep,[2] and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.

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Looking to manage your high blood pressure? Well, start by following these 10 tips.

Hypertension, the medical term for high blood pressure, is known as the ‘silent killer.’ It is a health condition that’s not only common but critical too. It happens when there is an excessive long-term force of blood applied to the artery walls leading to heart diseases. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries are, the higher the pressure will be. This condition is critical because it has no noticeable symptoms and thus often goes undiagnosed. If left untreated for a long time, it can lead to the risk of heart attacks and strokes. 

If your blood pressure is abnormally high, you will need to lower it as quickly as possible. To do your best bet might be to get your doctor to prescribe medication, but medications alone will never suffice because a lifestyle disease like this can only be managed through lifestyle changes.

ways to control high BP
Dear ladies, get your blood pressure checked regularly. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

So, to bring down the high blood pressure level, there are some ways that Dr Narayan Gadkar, Consultant Cardiologist, Zen Multi speciality Hospital, Chembur, suggests for HealthShots readers:

Ways to control high blood pressure fast:

1. Maintain optimum weight

Did you know that the healthy body mass index (BMI) is in the range of 18.5 and 24.9. And the blood pressure of a person increases as weight increases. So, you will have to stay fit, eat a well-balanced diet, and exercise daily to manage your weight. 

2. Eat a well-balanced diet

If your food habits have gone haywire, it is the right time to take charge of your health and eat a lot of fruit, veggies and low-fat dairy. Avoid junk, oily, processed, and canned food. It will be essential for you to avoid eating pasta, pizza, burger, French fries, chips, namkeens, and other foods with artificial sweeteners. Keep a food diary and note down what you eat in order to know your eating habits, and improve them.

3. Reduce sodium intake

Sodium content naturally increases blood pressure level. So choose low-sodium foods only.

4. Stay active

If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, you are doing it all wrong. You will have to start exercising for at least five days a week for half an hour. You can do any activity that you like. Try to opt for swimming, cycling, aerobics, yoga, gymming, running, or play any sport of your choice.

5. Avoid alcohol

If you have high blood pressure, avoid alcohol or drink alcohol only in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men. Keep in mind that alcohol contains calories and may contribute to unwanted weight gain — a risk factor for high blood pressure. Also, alcohol can interact with certain blood pressure medications, affecting the level of the medication in your body or increasing side effects.

ways to control high BP
Say no to alcohol. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

6. Increase potassium consumption

Potassium can reduce your blood pressure level effectively. So increase your daily intake of potassium by eating more peas, bananas, potatoes, tomatoes, orange juice, kidney beans, honeydew melon,0 and raisins.

7. Quit smoking

Quitting smoking can bring down the blood pressure to the normal range and cut down the risk of heart disease as well. 

8. Manage stress

Our body produces a surge of hormones when you’re in a stressful situation. These hormones temporarily increase your blood pressure by causing your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to narrow. There’s no proof that stress by itself causes long-term high blood pressure. But reacting to stress in unhealthy ways can increase your risk of high blood pressure.

9. Hydrate yourself

Drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water per day is perhaps the easiest way to manage blood pressure related issues. So keep yourself hydrated. 

ways to control high BP
Stay hydrated and improve your overall health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

10. Monitor blood pressure regularly

You must monitor your blood pressure at home regularly especially if you want to prevent the necessity of taking medications or reduce the medications you are currently taking.

Also, don’t forget to visit your doctor for proper diagnosis and follow the medications as per his advice.

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