Diastolic blood pressure refers to the pressure in your arteries when your heart is relaxing between heartbeats, which is the bottom number in your blood pressure reading. If your diastolic blood pressure reading is over 100 mmHg, you are at a risk of suffering from stroke and a heart attack. Luckily, through just a few lifestyle changes, you can know how to lower diastolic pressure and reduce your risk.
8 Steps to Lower Diastolic Pressure
1. Have a Balanced Diet
Make sure your diet is well balanced with Omega-3 fatty acid foods, fruits, veggies, lean proteins, low-fat dairy products and whole grains. Try to avoid carbs and saturated fat as much as possible to lower your blood pressure.
2. Cut Down Sodium Intake
Eat less sodium. Did you know that even the slightest reduction in sodium can decrease your blood pressure anywhere from 2-8 points? Doctors recommend that the maximum amount of sodium to take is 2,300 mg a day. Limiting it to 1,500 mg is optimum for anyone who suffers from high blood pressure and is prone to other health issues (like heart disease).
3. Drink Less Alcohol
Alcohol can be both a blessing and a curse. It can be good for your blood pressure if you drink the recommended amount (lowering it 2 points) and it can be a curse if you drink too much. For women, too much is more than one drink/day, and for men under 65, two drinks a day. However, if you don’t usually drink alcohol, then don’t start thinking, as there’s a lot more cons than pros from drinking alcohol. People who drink more than the recommended amounts will actually raise their blood pressure several points. Not just that, if you’re taking medications to help lower your high blood pressure, then drinking alcohol at the same time can affect the medication’s impact/effectiveness.
4. Reduce Caffeine Intake
What does caffeine do to your blood pressure is not certain, while it’s sure that caffeinated drinks help raise your blood pressure. However, whether this increase is short-term or long-term is not certain. If caffeine increases your blood pressure, be sure to cut it out of your diet and replace it with something else like green tea.
5. Avoid Tobacco
Try to stay away from smoking and nicotine in general. It can increase your blood pressure by TEN points for at least an hour after smoking. Regular smokers who smoke throughout the day are more or less living with high blood pressures. Also try to avoid second-hand smoke as much as you can. For example, instead of sitting in smoker’s areas, be sure to sit in the no-smoker’s areas wherever possible.
6. Get Plenty of Exercise
We all know by now that exercise is important. One of the benefits is lowering your blood pressure. Try to get at least 30-60 minutes of exercise a day. You’ll be surprised at the effect of regular exercise can have on you in just a few weeks!
7. Lose Excess Weight
The more weight you have on you/put on, the higher your blood pressure. Losing anywhere from 5 kg can significantly lower your blood pressure. And the more weight you lose, the lower your blood pressure will be. Consult with your doctor and reach an ideal weight you should be at and develop a plan to get there.
8. Learn to Manage Stress
High levels of stress and anxiety can increase your blood pressure significantly. Try to find out what makes you stressed, whether it’s work, home, finances or something else, and take proactive steps towards solving it. Yoga, regular breathing exercise, meditating and other stress relievers are all good options.
1. Check Your Blood Pressure Often
Make sure you keep an eye out on your blood pressure because it’s not always easy to detect when you have high blood pressure. Visit your doctor regularly, especially if you have other medical problems. If you’re healthy and your blood pressure is at a normal level, your doctor may recommend that you get checked every 6-12 months. Depending on your condition, however, your visits may have to be more frequent.
2. Get Support
Support is important. Having family members you can talk to and friends who can encourage and motivate you are imperative for your journey towards recovery. They can help accompany you to the doctor’s office motivate you to get up and exercise. Having people by your side can help keep you on track, feel less overwhelmed, and take some of the burden off your shoulders. You can even join special support groups where you can make friends with those who are also suffering from high blood pressure and combat the condition together.