High blood pressure is a very serious and dangerous problem.
It can cause health complications that impact your quality of life. Worse yet, it can put your life at risk. That’s because hypertension causes widespread damage throughout the body, especially to your arteries, heart, and brain. But there’s also good news.
Making the right lifestyle choices can significantly improve your blood pressure. In fact, taking simple steps can delay, reduce, and even prevent the need for blood pressure medication. Unfortunately, people often assume that means sacrifice, sweat, and absolutely no fun. But that’s where they’re wrong.
Dr. Adepero Okulaja helps patients at The Doctor’s House in Edina, Minnesota, adopt healthy habits to keep chronic diseases, like high blood pressure, at bay. She also understands that the first step in making lifelong changes toward total wellness involves introducing people to good habits they can take joy in doing.
If you have high blood pressure, here are five enjoyable ways to get your numbers back on track.
Yes, you read that right! You’ve never had a better excuse to catch those Zzzs, especially if you have a history of sleep deprivation.
Research shows that getting less than six hours of sleep every night for several weeks has direct links to hypertension. Fortunately, you can improve your sleep quality in several ways, such as:
If you have other issues affecting your sleep, like insomnia or sleep apnea, Dr. Okulaja can help.
Are you looking for something even easier to help your heart? Double down on your water intake.
When you get dehydrated, your body produces more stress hormones in an effort to keep blood flowing to your organs. The response? Increased blood pressure. To avoid this problem, keep yourself hydrated and refreshed with plenty of water throughout the day.
For maximum results, swap some of your regular caffeinated or alcoholic beverages with water instead. Both caffeine and alcohol increase your risk of high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is nothing to laugh at. But it turns out that laughter really is good medicine.
Having a good laugh comes with good short- and long-term benefits, including:
On top of all that, it also decreases your heart rate and blood pressure.
No one said exercise had to be a bore — or a pain. Instead, find ways to move your body that you actually enjoy, such as dancing.
Whether you crank up the tunes and move your body while doing dishes or lace up your sneakers and head out on a walk, getting your heart rate up every day is a surefire way to lower your blood pressure.
And that’s not all. Choosing an activity that’s something you love also puts a smile on your face.
One of the most enjoyable ways to get your blood pressure back on track involves stress reduction. While this may seem easier said than done, Dr. Okulaja often suggests these starting points:
Dr. Okulaja also recommends making time every day to relax, and it doesn’t have to be huge chunks of time. For instance, you can take a few moments to sit quietly and breathe deeply or or you can make an effort to push “Pause” on daily stresses to do something you really enjoy, like cooking, walking, or spending time with friends or family.
Do you need more help lowering your blood pressure? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Okulaja at The Doctor’s House for a personalized treatment plan today.