regulating blood pressure

It's no secret that high blood pressure is a problem in the United States. Almost 1,000 Americans die every day as the direct or indirect result of high blood pressure. To make matters worse, only 1 in 5 US adults know that they have high blood pressure.

If you know that you have high blood pressure, there is good news. Regulating blood pressure at home is not only feasible. By being proactive, you can improve your overall health and well-being in the process.

Here are 4 tips to help you manage and lower blood pressure fast - right from home!

1. Improve Your Diet

You may suffer from high blood pressure because you consume foods high in fat and sodium on a regular basis. Regardless of why you have high blood pressure, improving your diet is crucial.

So, which foods should you avoid and which ones should you start incorporating in your diet?

Limit Sodium Intake

We all need a healthy amount of sodium in our diet for our bodies to function. The problem is when we consume too much of it.

Those with normal blood pressure to limit their daily sodium intake to less than 2,400 mg. Those with high blood pressure should consume no more than 1,500 mg per day. Here are some foods that usually contain high amounts of sodium:

  • Deli meat
  • Canned soup/vegetables
  • Canned tomatoes/sauce
  • Chips 
  • Frozen dinners/pizza
  • Vegetable juice

Marinades like teriyaki or soy sauce also tend to be high in sodium. You should skip the table salt, as well.

Eat Fewer Refined Carbohydrates

Our bodies don't process all carbohydrates the same.

Refined carbohydrates cause blood sugar levels to spike within short periods of time. Higher glucose levels in the blood can wreak havoc on our blood vessels. This can cause them to strain, work harder, and raise blood pressure as a result.

To lower blood pressure fast, limit the number of refined carbohydrates you consume. These include:

  • White sugar (cookies, candy, cakes, desserts, syrup, etc.)
  • White bread/pasta/rice/cereal
  • Soda
  • Table sugar

Opt for whole grains and complex carbohydrates. These digest slower in the body and don't cause blood sugar spikes. Brown rice, barley, quinoa, and starchy vegetables are some examples.

Eat More Lean Protein & Potassium

Not only are sodium and refined carbohydrates the big things to avoid. You should also limit the amount of unhealthy, saturated fats you consume.

By eating more lean protein, you'll not only feel fuller. You'll consume less sodium and fat in the process. The key is to get your healthy fats from sources like avocados, eggs, fish, nuts, and seeds.

Limit the number of red meats you consume, as well as high-fat cheeses and milk. Low-fat dairy products like yogurt are fine in moderation.

As you cut back on salt, you should consume more potassium. Potassium can relieve your arteries of the constant strain they're under. They can also taper the effects of the sodium you do consume.

2. Exercise

By far, the best way to lower blood pressure is to exercise and lose weight. The more you exercise your heart and blood vessels, the stronger they'll become. In time, the walls of your will exert less effort and less pressure.

Strive to complete 30-40 minutes of cardiovascular activity each day. Jogging, brisk walking, dancing, biking, and swimming are great activities you can try.

But you don't have to become a triathlete to lower your blood pressure, either. Staying busy and active can make regulating blood pressure easier. For example, you can climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator, or try a new activity like gardening.

Manage Your Stress Levels

The more stressed you are, the higher your blood pressure tends to be. Exercise is not only great for weight loss but stress management, as well. But there are other ways to manage your stress.

For starters, you should strive to sleep 7-8 hours per night. The more rested you are, the less stressed you'll be.

You can also practice yoga and meditation. In fact, there is a striking correlation between meditation and blood pressure. Transcendental meditation stimulates a hormone that helps with blood pressure regulation.

Regulating blood pressure through meditation can be simple. Start small by practicing a couple minutes each day. You'll be able to meditate longer the more you practice.

3. Stop Smoking

Smoking cigarettes are bad for all sorts of reasons. But whenever you smoke or ingest tobacco, you cause your blood pressure to spike.

It goes without saying that the longer and more you smoke, the more strain you put on your blood vessels in the long run.

Drink Less Alcohol

In addition to cutting out cigarettes, you should limit your alcohol intake, as well. Alcohol is not only full of sugar. It can directly raise your blood pressure.

Moderate drinking is key. If you decide to continue consuming 1 drink per day, try something like red wine. It can help to prevent blood clots, which can also contribute to high blood pressure.

Alcohol is not the only substance you should limit. You should limit the amount of caffeine you consume every day, as well. Instead of coffee, opt for something with light caffeine, like green tea, for example.

4. Monitor Your Blood Pressure at Home

Better diet, less stress, and exercise are the cornerstones to better blood pressure. Still, there are additional practices you can adopt at home to help you lower your blood pressure.

Keeping tabs on your blood pressure is crucial to tracking your progress. Not only should you visit your doctor on a regular basis to monitor your blood pressure. You should monitor it each week at home.

Luckily, it's easy to check your blood pressure at pharmacies and drug stores. To make it even easier, you can purchase your own blood pressure monitor.

Take Your Medication as Prescribed

Your doctor may or may not prescribe blood pressure medication. In cases where you struggle to lower your blood pressure on your own, this is more likely.

It's important to take your blood pressure medication as prescribed. These medications all work differently. Keep communication open with your doctor should you need a medication change.

Live Healthier by Regulating Blood Pressure from Home

Discovering that you have high blood pressure can be scary. The long-term consequences of high blood pressure can be downright terrifying. But by being proactive, lowering and regulating blood pressure is attainable.

For more health and wellness information, stay tuned for more of the latest medical news.

Further Reading

Sodium intake, cardiovascular disease, and physiology

Why Refined Carbs Are Bad For You

High Blood Pressure Fact Sheet