Medication taken correctly has long been shown to be efficient in lowering high blood pressure. But there are also numerous lifestyle steps that people can embrace to help ease or prevent hypertension, and avoid the need to be prescribed drugs to treat the condition. Several of the steps are relatively straightforward lifestyle choices, such as keeping to a healthy diet, reducing salt intake and regular exercise.
Lifestyle changes play a vital role in helping prevent or treat high blood pressure without resorting to medication. Key steps that are achievable for many people are losing weight and watching the waistline, followed by the importance of exercise. At least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity is recommended every day and that can range from walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing, while another possibility is high-intensity interval training. Eating a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and low in saturated fat and cholesterol can also lower high blood pressure, while cutting back on salt is regarded as a significant step in improving heart health and reducing high blood pressure.
Indeed, consuming too much salt is widely recognised as the single biggest cause of high blood pressure. One major problem is that salt is used in a lot of everyday food products people buy and is not always easy to spot, or cut back on. Salt makes the human body hold on to water and the extra water in the blood places additional pressure on blood vessel walls and raises blood pressure. Cutting down on salt can be effective in lowering blood pressure, and will also help medication for hypertension work better. Further beneficial lifestyle changes include cutting back on alcohol consumption and stopping smoking, as tobacco use increases blood pressure, as well as considering reducing caffeine intake.
Getting a good night’s sleep regularly is important as is taking steps to reduce stress, making time to relax, and expressing gratitude to others. Light and enjoyable activities such as walking, cooking or volunteering at a local charity have significant benefits, to you and others, in this respect. High blood pressure significantly increases the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and kidney disease and at times there may be no symptoms, so following well-documented lifestyle changes can make a difference. But symptoms that help recognise high blood pressure include blurred vision, chest pain, dizziness, headaches, nosebleeds, and shortness of breath. Experts also emphasise that those who are on medication for high blood pressure should take their medication as prescribed.
Using home monitoring devices to keep a check on your blood pressure is advisable as it can show if lifestyle changes, or medications, are working. Involving the support of family and friends in the healthier approach to life is also of value. Blood pressure can vary for a range of reasons and while there are signs that it is rising, regular monitoring devices can keep track of any changes. Sky Labs’ CART-I plus smart ring is capable of round-the-clock blood pressure monitoring, including at night without disruption of sleep for the wearer or the need for user intervention. Using photoplethysmography (PPG) signals to constantly measure the bloodstream round-the-clock through the wearer’s finger, it can offer a comprehensive picture of blood pressure patterns, which helps physicians determine if, or what, treatment may be required.