Your blood pressure is a key indicator of your health. Ideally, for aging adults, the systolic blood pressure should be 120mm Hg and diastolic reading at 80mm Hg. Consistently elevated blood pressure measures can increase risks of health issues, such as heart problems, retinopathy, and chronic kidney disease.
Oftentimes, hypertension does not exhibit any symptoms or warning signs. Many elderly are unaware that they had high blood pressure for years, especially when routine medical check-ups are below par. The best way to keep tabs on your blood pressure is with a blood pressure monitor at home. Your blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day depending on your activities. That is why monitoring your blood pressure at home at consistent times of the day can help with early diagnosis and verify if your treatment is working.
Thankfully, you can manage high blood pressure with the help of medications and also naturally. Even if you are on hypertension medication, incorporating the following lifestyle changes and habits can help to keep your blood pressure level healthy naturally.
Shield Your Heart with a Healthy Weight
Obesity is a major contributing factor to high blood pressure. Blood pressure tends to increase as weight increases. Being corpulent can also provoke sleep apnea, resulting in raised blood pressure. One of the most efficacious lifestyle changes for managing blood pressure is shedding those extra pounds. Losing weight aids your blood vessels in expanding and contracting, facilitating the heart to pump blood to other parts of your body. Having a workout routine can help you achieve an ideal weight. You can try out high-intensity interval training, also known as HIIT, a safe workout that is known to have numerous benefits for aging adults.
Unwind Your Stress Away
Chronic stress is a key trigger of high blood pressure. When you encounter a stressful situation, your body releases stress hormones. These hormones cause a constriction of blood vessels which raises the blood pressure, but only temporarily. Once you have calmed down, your blood pressure will return to its normal levels. However, chronic stress engages other behaviors such as impulsive eating and excessive alcohol consumption, which can impact your blood pressure levels. Relaxing by listening to soothing music or practicing meditation are effective blood pressure therapies.
Control Salt and Processed Food Consumption
Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is much easier if you avoid processed foods. Processed foods are often laden with salt, an ingredient that skyrockets your blood pressure. Fast food, smoked meat, and frozen pizzas are examples of heavily processed food with high fats and salt. Fresh ingredients with sufficient magnesium and potassium in your diet will help to regulate your blood pressure levels. Magnesium-rich food like whole grains, salmon, and spinach helps to relax your blood vessels. Potassium relieves tensions in blood vessels and helps to lessen the impact of salt on your system. Many foods are naturally high in potassium, including low-fat yogurt, avocado, and banana.
Pamper Yourself with Dark Chocolate
Good news for chocolate lovers! If you are craving a snack, dark chocolate would make a perfect choice. Dark chocolate is rich in flavanols, a plant compound that dilates blood vessels and boosts blood flow. Indulging huge quantities isn’t going to accelerate the decrease of your blood pressure levels. One or two squares of dark chocolate per day is a better way to lower blood pressure and inflammation.
Besides what you eat, the drinks you consume matters too. Tea had a healthy and tranquilizing reputation for decades. Green tea and hibiscus tea are packed with antioxidants which help to improve blood flow and reduce heart inflammation. Drinking a cup or two daily can help to control high blood pressure. Moreover, a cup of warm tea is pleasing to the soul and relaxes the mind. On the other hand, alcohol is a much-debated beverage in regards to its effect on high blood pressure. Too much alcohol is known to increase blood pressure significantly, whereas moderate consumption is associated with a reduced risk for hypertension.
In a nutshell, monitoring your blood pressure and keeping up with medical check-ups is essential for your well-being. In complement to professional medical advice, these lifestyle changes can help keep your blood pressure level healthy.