At Home Care Assistance Columbus, we enjoy helping older adults enhance their health by making better lifestyle choices. According to an article in Prevention Magazine, there are simple ways to reduce blood pressure beyond the medicine and advice offered by your doctor.
Go for power walks. Exercise helps the heart use oxygen more efficiently, so it doesn’t work as hard to pump blood.
Breathe deeply. Slow breathing and meditative practices such as qigong, yoga, and tai chi decrease stress hormones, which elevate renin, a kidney enzyme that raises blood pressure.
Pick potassium-rich produce. Aim for potassium levels of 2,000 to 4,000 mg a day, including sweet potatoes, tomatoes, orange juice, potatoes, bananas, kidney beans, peas, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and dried fruits such as prunes and raisins.
Indulge in dark chocolate. Dark varieties contain flavanols that make blood vessels more elastic. Have 1/2 ounce daily (make sure it contains at least 70% cocoa).
Take a supplement. Researchers found that coenzyme Q10 reduced blood pressure. Ask your doctor about taking a 60 to 100 mg supplement up to 3 times a day.
Go decaf. Scientists have long debated the effects of caffeine on blood pressure. Caffeine can raise blood pressure by tightening blood vessels and by magnifying the effects of stress.
Take up tea. Study participants who sipped 3 cups of a hibiscus tea daily lowered systolic blood pressure by 7 points in 6 weeks on average. Many herbal teas contain hibiscus; look for blends that list it near the top of the chart.
Relax with music. The right tunes can help, according to researchers at the University of Florence in Italy.
Seek help for snoring. It’s estimated that half of all people with sleep apnea have high blood pressure. In addition to loud snoring, excessive daytime tiredness and early morning headaches are also good clues.