There are many simple ways to lower blood pressure that you can do yourself at home. Some of them are changing lifestyles and eating patterns to be healthier. Although it sounds trivial, these ways are very effective for lowering and controlling blood pressure.
Lifestyle plays an important role in lowering high blood pressure (hypertension). This means that if people with hypertension are able to adopt a healthy lifestyle, their blood pressure can decrease significantly and the risk of complications can be reduced, even without them needing to take drugs.
Simple Ways to Lower Blood Pressure
If you include people who suffer from hypertension, here are some simple ways to lower blood pressure:
1. Do exercise regularly
Exercise can strengthen the heart muscle, so that the pressure on the blood vessels is reduced and blood flow becomes smoother. It is recommended that you exercise for 30 minutes, 3-4 times per week.
If you don't have time to exercise, that's okay as long as you're active. Examples are taking the time to walk, climb stairs, or even clean the house.
2. Quit smoking
If you smoke, you should stop this bad habit from now on. The reason is, smoking can cause damage, inflammation, and narrowing of blood vessels which in turn causes blood pressure to gradually increase.
Not only for yourself, smoking can also harm the health of others who inhale cigarette smoke (passive smoking).
3. Limit alcohol and caffeine consumption
Excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeine has been linked to high blood pressure. So, limit alcohol intake to at least 1 drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men, and reduce caffeine intake, especially for those of you who are more sensitive to caffeine.
4. Meet the need for rest
Getting used to not sleeping well and not getting enough rest can affect blood pressure. Therefore, people who experience sleep disorders are usually more at risk of developing hypertension in the long term.
There are many easy ways to get enough rest by sleeping for about 7–9 hours a day, such as exercising during the day, avoiding naps, and creating a comfortable bedroom atmosphere.
5. Consumption of healthy and nutritious food
A simple way to lower blood pressure that can also be applied is to eat healthy and nutritious foods. The recommended healthy diet for people with hypertension is the DASH diet.
The basic rules for following this diet include:
- Reduce consumption of foods high in total fat, saturated fat, sugar, salt, and carbohydrates
- Increase consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains
- Increase intake of high potassium, calcium, and magnesium, such as nuts, low-fat dairy products, fish, bananas, avocados, potatoes, tomatoes, and spinach
6. Limit salt intake
One of the main causes of high blood pressure is eating foods high in salt. Food sources high in salt usually come from packaged foods.
So, to ensure that your blood pressure remains stable, it is recommended that you always check the food label on the product to find out how much salt you are using. To be on the safe side, prepare your own meals by limiting your salt intake to about 1 teaspoon (2,300mg) per day.
7. Manage stress well
Stress also affects emotions and blood pressure in the body. What's more, prolonged stress can have a negative impact on lifestyle, so there is a high risk of increasing blood pressure. So, try to always manage stress well, especially when plans don't go as expected.
There are many ways to reduce stress or calm the mind, such as diligently practicing breathing, taking a walk while enjoying the scenery, reading a book, watching a comedy film, or listening to relaxing music.
If the various simple ways of lowering blood pressure that have been mentioned above have not succeeded in dealing with your hypertension, you should consult a doctor to get treatment before dangerous complications occur.