Ways to Decrease Blood Pressure

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Reducing blood pressure has been a focus of good health for decades

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, puts strain on your heart and can lead to cardiovascular disease and heart attacks if not treated. While taking medications can be beneficial, there are also natural ways to lower blood pressure, primarily general lifestyle changes.

  1. Chores

    • Researchers at the University of Indiana found that doing simple household chores can lower your blood pressure as much as some medications. A few hours of "lifestyle physical activity" can reduce your blood pressure as much as 13 points, sometimes lowering it out of a danger area. Washing your car, mowing the lawn, doing the dishes---these are all healthy activities for your heart, which is even more reason to do your chores.

    Meditation

    • Scientists at the Medical College of Georgia found that people who practice transcendental meditation had a 6.5 percent decrease in their vasoconstriction---which is the narrowing of blood vessels, resulting in the contracting of the muscular wall of the vessels, causing higher blood pressure---when meditating. Also, those who meditate have lower blood pressure in general.

      Sit in a calm place, close your eyes and breathe, concentrating on your breathing. If thoughts pop into your head, notice them but don't react and continue to concentrate on your breathing. Try to get into the habit of meditating for 20 minutes per day.

    Sleep Better

    • Researchers at Columbia University have linked lack of sleep to hypertension. They found that people who get five hours of sleep or less per night are more likely to develop hypertension over the course of their life. In the study, 4,800 people were tracked over a decade. A quarter of the people who slept less then five hours a night on average developed hypertension, while only 12 percent of those who got enough sleep had a fluctuation in blood pressure.

    Diet and Exercise

    • Changing your diet and exercising regularly are the ideal ways to decrease blood pressure. Dark chocolate, pomegranate juice, onions and garlic are excellent foods to eat regularly to reduce your blood pressure. Cut back on salt. Also, 30 minutes of strenuous exercise three to four days a week will lower your blood pressure, as aerobic exercise increases your heart and breathing rate.

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