Compliance to the life style alterations advice is as important as taking medications to control blood pressure. In a clinical trial regular aerobic exercise and control of salt intake lead to mean blood pressure reduction by 12 mm Hg, equal to the most effective antihypertensive medication, thiazide diuretics. The below lifestyle changes along with your medicinal therapy will help you feel good and manage your hypertension. These guidelines are helpful both before and after the procedure.
Physical activity of at least 30-60 minutes 3-4 times a week can lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 mm Hg. Discuss with your doctor the best regime for you and be consistent with your exercise routine instead of sporadic.
Evidence suggests that stress can cause long term elevations in blood pressure. Stress management techniques such as transcendental meditation combined with yoga can be an effective regime in reducing blood pressure. Yoga studios today have a wide range of classes for novice as well as advanced students, with each class focusing on unifying your breath with each movement and a short mediation session that cools and clears your mind at the end.
Eat a healthy diet
The Dietary to Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) recommends eating foods that are rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.
- Keep a food diary: Monitor what you eat, how much, when and why.
- Consider adding more potassium to your diet: Potassium can lessen the effects of sodium on blood pressure.
Reduce the amount of sodium in your diet
Small reductions of sodium in your diet can reduce blood pressure by 2 to 8 mm Hg. Your daily intake of sodium should not be more than 2300 mg a day. For people 51 and older your sodium limit should be 1500 mg a day or less.
- Keep a daily diary of your sodium intake
- Read food labels. Choose low sodium alternatives
- Don’t add salt. 1 level teaspoon of salt has 2300mg of sodium
- Ease into it. Slowly reduce the amount of salt in your diet. Your palate will become adjusted over time.
Limit your alcohol intake
Consuming more than 3 drinks in one sitting can temporarily increase your blood pressure. Repeated binge drinking can lead to long-term increase of blood-pressure
Manage your stress
Use relaxation techniques to manage everyday stress.
- Breathing exercises
- Reframe upsets and irritation with a sense of humor
Smoking causes your arteries to narrow and puts you at much higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
Continue taking your blood pressure medication
Do not discontinue any of your blood pressure medication until advised by your doctor. If you have side effects from the medication, speak to your doctor. He or she can advise another blood pressure medication for you and can work with you to find the proper regimen.