High blood pressure or hypertension is a very serious issue that is common among seniors. Roughly 45% of seniors suffer from high blood pressure and only 1 out of 4 of them have this condition under control. Although it has no visible symptoms, high blood pressure is deadly as it increases the risk of fatal health conditions such as heart disease and stroke. This is because high blood pressure damages the blood vessels. However, there are many natural ways seniors can lower their high blood pressure without the use of medication. Through simple lifestyle changes, seniors will be able to live healthier and longer. This is a guide on how to reduce your blood pressure.
Frequent physical activity and exercise are beneficial in reducing your blood pressure and preventing chronic diseases such as kidney failure and heart disease. Seniors can start by doing simple everyday exercises such as walking and jogging. There is no specific exercise designed to reduce blood pressure and seniors should thus exercise within their limit and comfort level to improve their cardiovascular health and well-being. Exercises such as walking together with your loved ones can also improve your mood and reduce stress levels.
Seniors should be mindful of the food that they eat and eat a healthy and nutritious diet. The American Heart Association recommends a sodium intake of fewer than 1500mg per day to reduce high blood pressure. If you or your loved ones have high blood pressure, reducing your salt intake is a great first step in achieving a healthier diet and bringing down blood pressure levels. This is because sodium causes the heart to work faster and harder by holding extra fluid in the body, thereby increasing blood pressure levels. Instead of salt, you could use healthier alternatives such as spices, gingers, or garlic powder to spice up your meal.
Seniors should also reduce their alcohol and caffeine intake. This is because both caffeine and alcohol can cause spikes in blood pressure even for people who do not have high blood pressure. For alcohol, it is best to limit it to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. You and your loved ones should also consider healthier alternatives such as ginger tea or milk. By eating foods that are healthy for your heart and body, such as more fruits and vegetables which contain antioxidants, and reducing oily, fatty foods and foods that are high in sugar, you will become much healthier and your blood pressure level will decrease.
If you are someone who is frequently stressed, you may also experience high blood pressure despite eating healthily and exercising frequently. This is because when you are stressed, agitated, fearful, or anxious, blood pressure will increase. It is therefore important to be able to manage your stress and reduce stress levels to have healthy blood pressure. Seniors can do this through meditation, taking a walk in the park, or other relaxation exercises. You and your loved ones may also wish to consider various forms of therapy such as art and gardening therapy which will help you to release your emotions and develop healthy coping mechanisms.