6 Healthy Habits to Lower Your Blood Pressure

 6 Healthy Habits to Lower Your Blood Pressure

High blood pressure doesn’t always cause noticeable symptoms. In fact, you might not even know you have high blood pressure at all until you get a high reading. Even though it’s asymptomatic, it isn’t innocent. Left untreated, high blood pressure can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. In 2021 alone, high blood pressure contributed to nearly 700,000 deaths.

Despite these stats, there is good news. High blood pressure is easily detected here at Walker Family Care in Little River, South Carolina, and it can be managed through several different lifestyle modifications and, if needed, medication.

Read on as Dr. Rogers Walker and his team highlight six healthy habits you can adopt to lower your blood pressure. 

1. Eat more plant-based foods

You already know that fruits and vegetables are beneficial for you. Plants contain many compounds, including vitamins, fiber, phytochemicals, and bioflavonoids, that help promote healthy blood pressure levels.

For example, quercetin is a powerful antioxidant and bioflavonoid in many fruits and vegetables, including apples, onions, and kale. Quercetin has been linked to many  health benefits, including lowered blood pressure.

Herbs like parsley and basil can also help promote healthy blood pressure levels. Consider adding fresh herbs to your meals for even more health benefits. 

In addition to phytochemicals and flavonoids, plants also provide you with plenty of fiber. Fiber helps support overall heart health, including healthy blood pressure levels. You can find fiber in beans, pears, prunes, and lentils. 

2. Watch out for sneaky sources of salt

In addition to adding more plant-based foods, it’s also important to eliminate (or reduce) foods that raise your blood pressure. This includes processed and heavily refined foods. It also includes foods that are high in sodium. 

Sodium can be sneaky and hide in plain sight. Even “healthy” canned soups can be loaded with salt. Always check your ingredient label. In many cases, you might be better off making homemade soup and freezing it for later.

3. Exercise more regularly 

The American Heart Association recommends regular physical activity to help lower your blood pressure. Try to get at least 150 minutes of exercise every week. That’s about five 30-minute sessions. You can even break that down into smaller 10-minute chunks throughout the day. 

As a bonus, exercise can also help you manage cholesterol and blood sugar levels too!

Reminder: Don’t start any new exercise programs unless cleared by Dr. Walker. 

4. Drink more water

Drinking an adequate amount of water not only promotes overall health but also assists in normalizing your blood pressure. Make it a habit to carry a reusable water bottle, so you’re never without water. 

Tip: Add fresh lemon slices or even some of the fresh herbs listed above to help your water have an even bigger impact on your health.

5. Manage stress levels

Stress wreaks havoc on your body, and that includes your cardiovascular system, too. Explore relaxation techniques that work for you to manage stress effectively. Whether it's deep breathing, meditation, reading, crocheting, or spending time in nature, stress-reducing activities like these can have a positive impact on your blood pressure and your mental health.

6. Practice good sleep hygiene

Sleep isn’t a luxury. Your body needs sleep each night, and if you’re constantly running low on sleep, it can affect your blood pressure. 

Make every effort to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Create a bedtime routine, optimize your sleep environment, and make sleep a non-negotiable aspect of your self-care routine.

Get the help you need to lower your blood pressure

Even with all these healthy habits, you may still need help safely lowering your blood pressure. Here at Walker Family Care, our team can help you lower your levels with lifestyle guidance, and if needed, medication.

To schedule your appointment, call 843-280-8333 or click here.

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