Blood pressure is an important indicator of heart health. And high blood pressure, or hypertension, can lead to a host of issues such as a stroke, heart attack, or heart disease. Though the focus of this article is high blood pressure, even low blood pressure, or hypotension, can cause adverse effects such as dizziness or fainting. We want to help keep your blood pressure at healthy levels (approx. 120/80 mmHg), so we searched the web to find the consensus five best ways to help lower blood pressure, according to medical experts, and we’ve listed them here for you.
The List: 5 Best Ways To Naturally Lower Blood Pressure, Per Experts
1. Exercise Regularly
This can come in many forms. What’s important is that you get that heart pumping regularly. Consistent exercise means consistent blood flow throughout your body, which regulates and heals.
“Regular physical activity can lower high blood pressure by about 5 to 8 mm Hg. It’s important to keep exercising to keep blood pressure from rising again. As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day,” writes Mayo Clinic.
Penn Medicine raises a good point: “While any type of aerobic activity (walking, jogging, dancing) has a positive impact on heart health, try to find something you enjoy doing. This will make it easier to commit to a regular routine and will motivate you to get up and moving.” This point cannot be overemphasized – if you don’t enjoy it, you probably won’t stick with it.
It’s no secret that 2020 had the effect of adding inches to many waistlines. If you have extra weight to lose, losing it is a great way to naturally help reduce your blood pressure. And it may not need to be a huge reduction on the scale.
Healthline writes that “losing 5 to 10 pounds can reduce your blood pressure. Plus, you’ll lower your risk of other potential medical problems.” You’ll be all-around healthier. Not to mention that to lose weight you’ll surely make healthier food choices which will only benefit your body even more.
If you’re carrying extra weight your heart (and body) must work harder to get blood where it needs to go. Losing the weight will lessen the demands on your body, which will decrease blood pressure and likely increase longevity.
3. Reduce Sodium Intake
Some people like it sweet and some salty. If your sodium intake is high, we’re not suggesting you switch to sweets. Processed foods in general can lead to high blood pressure. But if you do regularly take in large amounts of salt, reducing your intake is a good way to lower blood pressure.
4. Eat Healthy
This may be easier said than done in our fast-paced world that doesn’t always allow time for meal prepping. That said, it’s important to make the healthiest food choices possible. There are ways to maintain a healthy diet even on the go.
Jefferson Health also recommends the DASH diet, saying it “is a well-known intervention to treat high blood pressure that encourages low-processed and low-sodium foods.”
Prepping your own meals is the easiest way to know what you’re putting in your body. If that’s not always possible, you may even consider meal prep services. There are many companies that now provide healthy food services delivered right to your door.
We do not have to explain the many reasons for which smoking is dangerous. It’s well documented by now. But if you have high blood pressure and you’re a smoker, cigarettes may be the cause.
“In the long term, the chemicals in tobacco can increase your blood pressure by damaging your blood vessel walls, causing inflammation, and narrowing your arteries. The hardened arteries cause higher blood pressure,” writes Healthline. They also note how damaging second-hand smoke is. So, even if you’re not the smoker, it’s best to steer clear.
Quitting any addictive substance is hard, and it may take more than one attempt, but it can be done. To find out the best ways to quit per experts, check out this recent Study Finds article.