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Best Ways to Normalize Blood Pressure Without Medications

Managing high blood pressure, also called hypertension, can be tricky. But the good news is there are a number of ways to normalize it without using medications.

It all starts with eating a healthy diet. This includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and low-fat dairy foods.

1. Exercise

Exercising regularly helps keep your blood pressure in the normal range, which is helpful if you have high blood pressure or are at risk of hypertension. Regular exercise also boosts energy, builds strength, reduces stress and makes your body feel good.

The best way to get started is to talk to your doctor or health care provider about the right type of exercise and how much to do. If you have high blood pressure or are at risk for it, your doctor may recommend you begin with light exercises first to help lower your blood pressure.

Cardiovascular exercise--exercise that raises your heart rate, like brisk walking, jogging, swimming, biking (stationary or outdoor), cross-country skiing, running, jumping rope, rowing and other aerobic activities--is the most effective in lowering blood pressure. That reduction occurs shortly after you finish exercise and lasts for almost 24 hours.

2. Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet is one of the best ways to normalize your blood pressure. You need to eat a range of fruit and vegetables, wholegrains and low-fat dairy foods.

A healthy diet can help you to feel well and give you more energy. It can also reduce your risk of cancer and other health problems.

Try to eat a variety of food from the 5 main food groups every day, in the recommended amounts. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, and low-fat sources of protein like poultry, beans, nuts, or lean meats.

Watch out for added salt, which can cause your body to retain fluid and raise your blood pressure. Cut back on salty snacks, fried foods, and processed food. Instead, opt for fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry, low-fat milk, and unsalted nuts.

3. Get Enough Sleep

When you get enough sleep, your body has the chance to repair damaged cells and proteins. That gives you better immunity and helps prevent illness.

In addition to reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, good sleep can help normalize blood pressure. Studies have shown that people who get less than seven hours of sleep a night are more likely to have high blood pressure and heart problems.

The best way to make sure you’re getting enough sleep is to establish a regular bedtime routine. It’s also helpful to avoid stimulants like caffeine after noon, limit alcohol and nicotine and create a quiet, dark and cool bedroom environment.

It’s also important to identify any underlying causes of sleep deprivation, such as working a night shift or obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder that causes you to stop and start breathing while you’re asleep. If you have these symptoms, talk with your health care provider about ways to treat them and improve your sleep.

4. Manage Your Stress

Stress is a natural reaction to change or a challenge, but long-term stress can lead to health problems. Chronic stress can raise blood pressure, making you more likely to develop heart disease and other conditions.

The best way to normalize your blood pressure is to manage your stress in a healthy way. That means avoiding unhealthy ways to cope with stress, like smoking and drinking alcohol.

Reframing your thoughts, putting your worries into perspective and staying present can help. Also, try to avoid putting yourself in situations where you feel overextended and overwhelmed.

Get enough sleep and eat well to help calm your body. Exercise is another good way to reduce your stress and lower your blood pressure.

Make time for relaxation techniques, such as yoga and meditation. Developing supportive relationships with family and friends is also important.

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