High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common medical condition that causes major health problems like heart disease and stroke. Risk factors can be attributed to obesity, family history, binge drinking and smoking. The symptoms of high blood pressure are chest pain, dizziness, difficulty breathing and even headache. Lifestyle changes can help lower your numbers and, therefore, it is the need of the hour to manage blood pressure and lead a healthy life. There are several ways to help you get rid of high blood pressure:

Adhere to a well-balanced diet

“Dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH) can also be helpful. It is recommended for people with hypertension and involves whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. You can also keep a food journal. Write down the foods you eat, avoid and how you feel after eating certain foods. Also, keep track of how much you eat and why. Swear by a healthy diet, ”suggests Dr. Praveen Kulkarni, Senior Cardiologist, Global Hospital, Mumbai. Read nutrition labels before buying food. Say no to fats. Also talk to your expert about the foods you should get from your diet.

Reduce your sodium intake

To combat high blood pressure, it is essential to reduce your sodium intake. Processed and canned foods are packed with sodium. Avoid adding extra salt to food and respect the amount recommended by the expert. Excessive salt intake can increase the amount of sodium in the bloodstream, which tends to reduce the kidneys’ ability to pass water. This can cause hypertension.

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Say Goodbye to alcohol and smoking

Drinking alcohol regularly can be harmful to your health and put you at risk for hypertension. Similarly, smoking can also be the culprit. Reducing tobacco use can keep heart disease at bay and improve well-being. In case you want to quit smoking, go to smoking cessation therapy to help you quit.

Exercising to lower blood pressure

Staying fit and exercising regularly may be the solution. “Exercise for at least half an hour and you can choose to do aerobics, swimming, cycling, running, walking, or any other activity of your choice. Also, you should talk to your doctor about the exercises you should avoid. Obesity can lead to hypertension, so you must control your weight to reduce your numbers. Therefore, you must watch your waist, “recommends Dr. Kulkarni.

Relax and de-stress

Stress in your daily life can raise blood pressure. Introspection about the things that stress you out. Focus on the problems that can be solved. Avoid triggers that lead to stress. Take time out of your busy schedule and relax. Do activities you like: reading, listening to music, and gardening can be helpful. Opt for breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation.

Don’t forget to check your blood pressure from time to time. Go for regular check-ups and follow-ups. Take your medications regularly.