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Blood pressure medications save lives, and no one who has been prescribed blood pressure medicine should stop taking it without speaking to their doctor. That being said, because many blood pressure medications do come with side effects, there are reasons to start making healthier choices in the hopes that you will eventually be able to stop taking your heart medication. Let’s take a quick look at 7 heart-healthy choices you can make in order to lower your blood pressure naturally.
1. Monitor Your Blood Pressure on a Regular Basis.
This is important because any changes in your blood pressure should be noted as soon as possible. If, by following the healthy choices below, you manage to create a significant drop in your baseline blood pressure, for example, you need that information so you can inform your doctor and adjust your dosage accordingly. Similarly, if your blood pressure is spiking, your healthcare professionals will need that information to protect you from any negative consequences of high blood pressure.
2. Reduce Psychological Stress
Blood pressure is one of the best examples of how physical and mental health can overlap. People who lead stressful lifestyles are much more likely to have high blood pressure — and making simple choices to reduce psychological stress in your life can have a tremendously positive impact on your blood pressure.
3. Cut Back on Your Alcohol and Caffeine Intake
Both of these drugs tend to increase heart pressure, so consuming them in moderation can help prevent unhealthy spikes. Another point to remember: both drugs will be absorbed into the body at a healthier rate if consumed while there is food in your stomach.
4. Stop Smoking
If you smoke, then your smoking habit is the number one threat to your health and wellbeing. In addition to being a leading cause of emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, and lung cancer, smoking can also lead to high blood pressure. Here is a compilation of quit-smoking resources from the CDC if you are looking to quit.
5. Reduce Sodium Consumption
There is a delicate balance of sodium levels in your bloodstream — and consuming large amounts of salt, especially in the same sitting, can alter that balance in unhealthy ways. This sodium absorbs more liquid, leading to strain on the arteries.
6. Eat Healthy
Diet is a leading factor in determining whether or not you will suffer from high blood pressure — which is why building a good diet conscientiously is so important. Check out this Top Fitness Magazine resource for making heart healthy cooking choices if you would like to learn more about how you can lower your blood pressure with diet.
7. Get Lots of Physical Activity
Though the temporary impact of physical activity is an increase in blood pressure, the long-term effect is overwhelmingly positive. Making small, daily choices to incorporate activity into your life will have a myriad of health benefits, including reducing your blood pressure and improving overall heart health.