There’s a reason doctors measure their patients’ blood pressure every time they come in for a checkup. High blood pressure can do more damage than most people realize. However, there are many things you can do to lower that number.
If you or a loved one is living with high blood pressure, it’s essential that changes be made as soon as possible. Read on to learn more from our Bedford doctors accepting new patients (locations also in Benbrook, Boyd and Lewisville) about natural ways to help manage your high blood pressure.
What is High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a medical diagnosis in which a person’s blood is consistently pressing too hard on the walls of their blood vessels. This pressure is measured in two different types of forces: systolic and diastolic. Systolic pressure is the force that exists as the blood is pumped into the arteries from the heart. Diastolic pressure is the force of the pressure while the heart is at rest between beats.
Blood pressure is measured in units of millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Healthy blood pressure is when the systolic pressure is under 120 and diastolic pressure is under 80. When these measurements go higher than the recommended levels, it indicates that your body is working too hard to be effective. Over time, high blood pressure can cause a number of problems, including stroke, heart failure, loss of vision and several other serious conditions.
Eat a Heart Healthy Diet
One of the simplest and most effective ways to lower your blood pressure is through what you consume. Not only will this help achieve and maintain a healthy weight but also it will help ensure that your organs are not overtaxed in other ways. Plus, for those who are overweight, every 20 pounds lost results in a 5 to 20 point lower systolic pressure.
The following are some basic beginner’s steps to a heart healthy diet:
- Focus on consuming fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats
- Get the recommended amount of potassium & fiber
- Limit saturated fats & trans fats
- Cut back on salt
- Stay hydrated
- Stay within your doctor’s recommended amount of calorie consumption
- Limit alcohol consumption
Many studies have shown that consistent aerobic activity can cause a significant impact on high blood pressure. Aerobic activity can make the heart stronger, making the task of pumping blood less work. This change will reduce pressure on artery walls, decreasing a person’s blood pressure.
It doesn’t take Olympic level training to make a difference. Start by committing to three days a week of low-impact exercise. If you are starting a brand-new routine, be patient with yourself. It can take up to three months of consistent exercise before you see results – keep at it. If you are looking for more support, Your Family Medical has Bedford doctors accepting new patients (locations also in Benbrook, Boyd and Lewisville) who can help with creating customized routines and sharing resources.
Stress and/or prolonged states of fear and anxiety can cause our body to switch into a fight or flight mode. As adrenaline is released into the body, causing the person’s heart rate to increase, blood pressure will also increase. It’s important to remember that our bodies are not built to withstand this type of constant strain.
Some top tips for reducing stress in a natural way include the following:
- Cultivate healthy relationships
- Find hobbies that bring you joy
- Try journaling
- See a counselor or therapist
- Get the recommended amount of sleep
To learn more about how to reduce stress and manage your blood pressure, check out this video made by the medical associates at Your Family Medical.
At Your Family Medical, our core belief lies in that achieving optimal outcomes for our patients requires building a mutual partnership of trust, understanding and information, with our goal being to empower them with the knowledge and skills needed to achieve an optimal state of health and well-being. We offer a wide range of services that can help you at any stage of your health journey, including geriatric medicine, internal medicine, family medicine, chronic care management, hormone replacement therapy and more. Call today.