If you suffer from hypertension, it’s easy to think that taking medications is your last hope. It’s essential to understand, however, that a few lifestyle changes can go a long way in keeping your blood pressure in check. These changes aren’t as drastic as you might think. It’s all a matter of staying disciplined and being more conscious about the things you do to your body.

Check out the five lifestyle

1) Keep extra pounds off

You’ve probably heard countless times that obese individuals are at a higher risk of high blood pressure. Several studies have shown the link between weight gain and hypertension. Additionally, obese individuals are likelier to suffer from sleep apnea, which causes blood pressure to increase even more. It’s always recommended to try hitting your ideal body weight and keeping off those extra pounds as much as possible.

2) Change your eating habits

This is where most people with high blood pressure struggle. It’s difficult to say goodbye to your favorite foods, even those that you know cause a lot of harm in your body. When you’re diagnosed with hypertension, try to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. Steer clear of saturated fat and cholesterol. Start developing the habit of reading product labels so you know what you’re putting inside your body.

3) Reduce stress

Stress has its way of making health conditions worse. High blood pressure is no exception. Try to manage stress by focusing on things you can control, sticking to a daily routine, and getting enough sleep each night. You might also want to try supplements with ingredients that are known to fight stress. This can prove to be an effective hypertension treatment as long as you eliminate your stress triggers as well.

4) Cut back on alcohol

If you drink alcohol frequently, it’s time to dial it down. Drinking in moderation wouldn’t be harmful. But when you drink too much, hypertension symptoms may get worse. What’s worse is that excessive alcohol consumption has been proven to reduce the effectiveness of hypertension medications.

5) Watch your caffeine habit

Caffeine has an interesting effect on blood pressure. For people who drink coffee regularly, they may not experience any noticeable changes in blood pressure. For those who rarely consume coffee, however, a single cup can raise blood pressure by several points. Some studies also suggest that over the long-term, caffeine may raise blood pressure slightly.

To see how caffeine affects your blood pressure, the key lies in monitoring it yourself. Check your blood pressure before drinking coffee or any caffeinated beverage. Check it again 30 minutes after you finish your drink. If you notice a significant difference, you may have to cut back on caffeine. It’s best to talk to your doctor to confirm your findings.

These simple lifestyle changes can be all you need to regulate blood pressure. In some cases, they might be enough to delay the need for hypertension medications. But as always, you need to go to the doctor for regular checkups to ensure that your health is in top condition and check for possible health complications.

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