High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common condition that can put you at risk for heart disease and stroke. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 3 American adults have elevated blood pressure. Often times, high blood pressure has no warning signs so many people do not even realize that they have it. That is the reason why it is also called “the silent killer.” It can quietly damage your heart, lungs, blood vessels, brain and kidney if left untreated.
Hypertension may be reversed with relatively simple lifestyle changes. Unhealthy choices that increase the risk of hypertension are:
- Eating foods high in sodium
- Physical inactivity
- Being overweight
- Consuming too much alcohol
Choose a healthier way of life to combat high blood pressure naturally and avoid the risks of side effects from medications. Try these 5 lifestyle changes:
- Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day
That could include walking, swimming, or playing a favorite sport. Just get moving!
- Eat a healthy diet
The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy. It discourages foods high in saturated fat, sugar and sodium. In fact, cutting salt in your diet can instantly lower blood pressure.
- Stop smoking
Each and every cigarette you smoke dangerously increases blood pressure levels.
- Lose weight
Blood pressure rises with weight. Shed those extra pounds, especially those around your middle.
- Stress less
Stress can play a factor in blood pressure levels. Practice de-stressing methods such as yoga, meditation or massage.