Tips for Lowering Blood Pressure
If someone is living with hypertension, consider some of these tips to help bring their blood pressure down.
Unfortunately, high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is an issue that is very common in seniors and is also a major health problem. According to the National Institute of Aging, high blood pressure can often lead to eye problems, kidney failure, stroke and heart disease, if ignored. If you are concerned about a loved one living with hypertension, there are many simple lifestyle changes that can be made to lower their blood pressure without depending on medication. Try implementing these strategies into your loved one's daily routine to reduce their risk of further health problems.
Reduce salt intake
Sodium can increase blood pressure because it holds extra fluid in the body, causing the heart to work harder, according to the American Heart Association. If you are concerned about your loved one's level of salt intake, make a recommendation for them to reduce the use of salt in foods or eliminate it all together. There are plenty of natural herbs and spices that can help liven up a meal - for example, you can add lime or lemon juice to dishes or garlic powder and ginger.
Find a way to manage stress
It's important for everyone to learn how to manage their stress in a healthy way, regardless of age. Although blood pressure tends to spike with stress, the source stated that there is no initial proof that stress causes chronic high blood pressure. But some people tend to cope with stress by eating unhealthy foods, drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes, which raise the risk for stroke, heart attack and blood pressure. If your loved one seems to be overly stressed, consider helping them organize their daily tasks and make sure they know that me-time and relaxation is very important.
Drink less caffeine
According to experts, caffeine can cause spikes in blood pressure, even for people who are not living with hypertension. So, if your loved one drinks a lot of coffee during the day, consider talking with them about switching to a healthier alternative that energizes the body naturally. Or, just make certain he or she is being moderate with their caffeine intake and is only drinking one to two cups of coffee per day.
Start exercising more often
The American College of Sports Medicine said there are no specific exercises that are designed to lower blood pressure, but there are plenty of activities that one can do to benefit their overall health. In fact, simple daily activities such as walking, using the stairs and doing yard work can help lower blood pressure. Other activities such as jogging, swimming and cycling can be beneficial too. At the end of the day, any amount of physical activity can lower blood pressure and attribute to one's overall well-being. Consider going on walks every day with your loved one - it can help lower his blood pressure and it can even strengthen the bond between the two of you!
Maintain a healthy weight
As weight increases, blood pressure often heightens as well, according to Mayo Clinic. Being overweight can interfere with breathing during sleep, which can also raise blood pressure. For your loved one to maintain a healthy weight and get his blood pressure down, he must eat a well-balanced diet. The source recommends a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. Make certain he is staying away from processed foods and saturated fats - this can increase his weight and raise his blood pressure. Switching to the healthier foods can help reduce fat and keep blood pressure down.