Many people with hypertension are on one or more medications to keep their blood pressure under control. Instead of relying completely on your medication, there are lifestyle changes you can make to gain better control over your blood pressure and possibly reduce the medications you take.
Manage Your Salt Intake
When you have hypertension, reducing your salt intake is essential. Start by keeping track of the amount of salt you eat each day. Most pre-packaged and processed foods are unnecessarily high in sodium. Once you realize how much salt you consume, it is a little easier to make changes. Try swapping out some of your foods for variations that allow you to control the salt. For example, many people enjoy using seasoning mixes to flavor meat. With a little effort, you can make your own and leave out the salt. This way you can learn to enjoy more of the natural flavors of foods, herbs, and spices without inadvertently over-seasoning your food.
Do More Cardio
Cardio is an excellent tool for reducing your blood pressure because it helps strengthen the heart muscle and can help you shed a few pounds. Walking and swimming are often the easiest ways of starting to incorporate cardio when you do not exercise regularly. As you become acclimated, find new ways to challenge yourself. You will need to increase the duration and/or intensity to keep your heart rate elevated. Another benefit of cardio and other forms of exercise is they are good stress reduction techniques. Stress can have adverse effects on your blood pressure and using exercise is a stress-reduction tool can help you turn everyday stress into something positive.
As long as you doctor agrees, there are supplements that may have heart-healthy benefits. One example is Coenzyme Q10. CoQ10 is an antioxidant, which may help reverse some damage in the body and reduce inflammation. In addition to having potential benefits by reducing blood pressure, it may also be helpful if you have other chronic diseases, such as high cholesterol and/or diabetes. You may need to try CoQ10 for a few months before you notice any benefits. It is best to take CoQ10 with good sources of fat, such as avocados or salmon, to enhance its absorption.
When you take blood pressure medications, you need to consider how your lifestyle might be making your medication less effecting. Lifestyle changes to reduce your blood pressure may help you take fewer medications or a lower dose of your current medication. For more information, contact local professionals like Temecula Valley Cardiology.
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