Losing weight is the next best treatment to taking in hypertension medicine in significantly reducing high blood pressure especially in overweight or obese individuals. The heart exerts an extra effort in pumping blood to tissues in overweight and obese individuals because of increased nutritional and physical demands of their body.
Because the heart pumps harder so that blood and nutrients reach the tissues of the overweight or obese individual’s body, the pressure exerted by the blood on the blood vessels is increased; therefore, you have high blood pressure. Losing weight through a balance of exercise and diet also helps get rid of accumulated fat stores in the body and at the coronary blood vessels of the heart.
Limit Alcohol Intake
Drinking in moderation lowers the risk of developing high blood pressure and coronary heart disease, mainly among males over 45 years and females over 55. Moderate drinking is defined as drinking no more than one 12-ounce beer per day for females and no more than two 12-ounce beers per day for males.
Too much alcohol however, stimulates the secretion of epinephrine and nor-epinephrine by the sympathetic nervous system causing a faster heartbeat, stronger contractions of the heart and blood vessel constriction or vasoconstriction. A combination of these effects contribute to increased vasopressure or blood vessel pressure and increased tension of the blood vessels, hypertension.
Engaging in moderate physical activity like brisk walking several times per week for thirty to forty-five minutes can lower systolic blood pressure by 10 mmHg. This is because exercise conditions the heart giving you better and more effective contractions with lower cardiac stress over time and therefore, giving you a higher or more effective cardiac output than usual.
The heart pumps blood more effectively without the extra effort and pressure exerted on the blood vessels. A proper balance between exercise, diet and rest helps contribute to a healthier blood pressure.
Reduce Salt Intake
Salt absorbs water and makes the blood more viscous or thicker. This makes it more difficult for the heart to pump blood more effectively. Salt and fat also accumulates in the form of plaque in the arteries especially the coronary arteries in the heart. The plaque accumulation in the coronary arteries block the flow of blood pumped from the heart to the tissues and organs of the body and thus, prompts the heart to pump harder, giving you high blood pressure.
This very same plaque accumulation is also the cause of diseases such as arteriosclerosis or stiffening of the arteries and atherosclerosis or fatty deposits at the arteries. These conditions also contribute to high blood pressure. In addition to this, roughly half the people suffering from hypertension are “salt sensitive”. A high salt diet seems to promote their hypertension while a low salt diet can lower their blood pressure.
Maintain the Recommended Dietary Intake of Magnesium, Potassium and Calcium
Instead of taking in more salt in your body, replace it with more sources of magnesium, potassium and calcium. Sustained levels of magnesium, potassium and calcium in the diet are associated with a lower risk for developing hypertension.
Stop Tobacco Smoking
Smoking damages the heart and augments the harmful effects of high blood pressure by constricting the blood vessels or vasoconstriction. When the blood vessels are constricted, the pressure exerted by the blood on the vessel wall increases, giving you high blood pressure.
Manage Stress and Perform Relaxation Techniques
Meditation, biofeedback and deep breathing techniques help reduce high blood pressure by keeping you calm and relaxed. These methods work by decreasing the release of epinephrine and nor-epinephrine by the adrenal medulla of the sympathetic nervous system. Notice that your heart does not beat faster or harder when you are relaxed. This means that the heart is pumping blood without the extra stress or effort and that the pressure of the blood and the tension of the blood vessel walls are maintained.