10 Steps To Manage Hypertension

Not just medication but gradual changes in your lifestyle are also required to bring down your blood pressure. Learn more about natural ways to lower blood pressure.

By URLife Team
17 May 2024

You may find yourself struggling to button your favourite pair of jeans because your waistline seems to have increased overnight. Or perhaps you’ve noticed that climbing a flight of stairs leaves you more breathless than it used to, and the scale shows that you’ve gained a few extra kilos. Maybe stress has been creeping into your daily life, making your heart race and your head pound. These changes—pinching waistlines, increasing weight, and growing stress—might seem like minor inconveniences, but they can actually be signs of something more serious: high blood pressure, also known as hypertension.

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High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a symptomless “silent killer” that quietly damages blood vessels and leads to serious health problems. According to a national survey study mentioned in the paper JAMA, around 1.7 million Indians suffer from high blood pressure. While there is no cure, using medications as prescribed and making lifestyle changes can enhance your quality of life and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and more. 


Related story: 10 Things To Know About Hypertension


10 Steps To Lower Blood Pressure

If you have high blood pressure, you may wonder if medication is necessary to bring the numbers down. However, lifestyle plays a vital role in treating high blood pressure. Controlling blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle might prevent, delay, or reduce the need for medication. Understanding and managing this condition is crucial, as it can lead to serious health problems like heart disease and stroke if left unchecked. But the good news is, that with the right steps and awareness, you can take control of your blood pressure and live a healthier life. Let’s explore 10 natural ways to reduce hypertension.

1. Pay attention to waistline: When you gain weight, your blood pressure often goes up too. Being overweight can also lead to sleep problems like sleep apnea, which makes blood pressure rise even more. Losing weight is one of the best ways to control your blood pressure. Even shedding a small amount of weight can make a big difference. For every kilogram (about 2.2 pounds) you lose, your blood pressure could drop by about 1 millimetre of mercury (mm Hg). Extra weight around your middle can increase your risk of high blood pressure.

Here are some general guidelines:

  • Men are at risk if their waist measurement is more than 40 inches (102 centimetres ).
  • Women are at risk if their waist measurement is more than 35 inches (89 centimetres ).


2. Be physically active: Being active helps lower stress, manage weight, and strengthen your heart, making it one of the best ways to reduce blood pressure. Even a brisk walk can benefit your heart. When you're inactive, the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other heart problems increases. Regular aerobic exercise is great for your heart, lungs, and circulation.

Here are some tips to get you started and ensure you get the most health benefits:

  • Aim for at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity physical activity each week.
  • Spread your activity throughout the week.
  • Break it up however you like, such as 30 minutes a day for five days a week.
  • Include flexibility, strength, and muscle-building exercises in your routine.


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3. Reduce sodium intake: Potassium is important because it helps counteract the effects of salt on your blood pressure. The best way to get potassium is from foods like fruits and vegetables, not supplements. Aim for 3,500 to 5,000 mg of potassium a day, which could reduce your blood pressure by 4 to 5 mm Hg. Getting more potassium is easy because it's naturally found in many foods.

Here are some great sources of potassium:

  • Fish
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and potatoes
  • Apricots, avocados, bananas, and oranges


4. Increase potassium intake: Salt affects people differently, but for a healthy diet, the American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day for healthy adults. For those with high blood pressure, the limit should be 1,500 mg per day.

Here are some tips to help you reduce sodium in your diet:

  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Look for foods with the lowest sodium per 100 grams when shopping.
  • Avoid placing salt and salty sauces on the table. This helps discourage children from developing a habit of adding salt.
  • Use herbs, spices, citrus, and garlic. Swap salt with these options to add flavour to your food.


Related story: 9 Diet Tips To Reduce Heart Risk In People With Diabetes


5. Maintain a normal BMI: If you're concerned about your weight, talk to your doctor to find out what weight goal is best for you. Focus on process goals rather than just the number on the scale. For example, aim to walk 10,000 steps a day instead of setting a goal to lose five pounds a month. Even small reductions in weight can significantly impact your blood pressure. 


6. Limit alcohol consumption: Limiting alcohol intake can significantly lower your blood pressure. It is recommended that women consume no more than one drink a day, and men consume no more than two. As per Lehigh University,  one drink is equivalent to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 40 per cent of alcohol. This simple change can reduce blood pressure by about 4 mm Hg. On the other hand, excessive alcohol consumption can elevate blood pressure and diminish the effectiveness of blood pressure medications. By being mindful of your alcohol intake, you can effectively manage your blood pressure and enhance your overall health.


Related story: Mistakes That Are Slowing Your Weight Loss Goals


7. Manage your sleep schedule: Poor sleep quality, especially getting fewer than six hours of sleep each night for several weeks, can contribute to high blood pressure. Issues like sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and insomnia can disrupt your sleep.
If you often have trouble sleeping, talk to your healthcare provider. Identifying and treating the cause can help improve your sleep. Try these tips for better sleep:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends.
  • Keep your sleeping area cool, quiet, and dark. Do something relaxing before bedtime, like taking a warm bath or doing relaxation exercises. Avoid bright lights from TVs or computer screens.
  • Don’t go to bed hungry or overly full. Avoid large meals close to bedtime. Limit or avoid nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol before bed.


8. Control stress smartly: Long-term emotional stress can contribute to high blood pressure, although more research is needed to understand the effects of stress reduction techniques on blood pressure. To reduce stress, it’s helpful to identify its causes, such as work, family, finances, or illness, and find ways to manage it. 

Here are some tips:

  • Plan your day and focus on priorities. Learn to say no and allow enough time to accomplish what needs to be done.
  • Concentrate on issues you can control and make plans to address them. For work-related stress, discuss concerns with a supervisor. Resolve conflicts with family members or partners through communication.
  • If possible, avoid situations that trigger stress. For instance, if rush-hour traffic stresses you out, consider travelling at a different time or using public transportation. Minimise contact with people who cause stress whenever possible.


Related story: Everything You Need To Know About Secondary Hypertension


9. Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke: Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas that replaces oxygen in the blood. This forces the heart to work harder to supply enough oxygen to the body, leading to increased blood pressure. Nicotine, the addictive substance in cigarettes, causes a temporary increase in blood pressure and heart rate when smoked or consumed in other forms like e-cigarettes or nicotine patches. 

  • Nicotine replacement therapy, such as nicotine patches, gums, lozenges, or prescription medications, can help reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms and cravings, making it easier to quit smoking.
  • Choose a specific date to quit smoking and make a plan to stick to it. Remove smoking triggers from your environment and prepare yourself for potential challenges.
  • Limit exposure to secondhand smoke by avoiding places where smoking is allowed and asking people not to smoke around you or in your home or car. 


10. Do not forget to monitor BP at home: Monitoring your blood pressure at home and getting regular checkups are essential for controlling hypertension and ensuring that your medications and lifestyle changes are effective. By monitoring your blood pressure at home and attending regular checkups with your healthcare provider, you can take proactive steps to manage hypertension effectively and reduce the risk of associated complications.
Home monitoring allows you to keep track of your blood pressure regularly, providing valuable information to you and your healthcare provider.
Home blood pressure monitors are widely available without a prescription. However, it's crucial to consult your healthcare provider before starting home monitoring to ensure you choose the right device and use it correctly.
By monitoring your blood pressure at home, you can detect any fluctuations or trends over time, enabling you to make informed decisions about your treatment plan and lifestyle adjustments.


Regular visits with your healthcare provider are vital for controlling blood pressure and managing any underlying health conditions. Book consultation with the doctor at UR.Life. During checkups, your provider can assess your blood pressure, review your treatment plan, and make any necessary adjustments to your medications or lifestyle recommendations. If your blood pressure is well-controlled, your provider may advise you on how often you need to check it at home. Depending on your circumstances, you may only need to monitor it once a day or less frequently.

Need all your wellness solutions in one place? A whole new world awaits just a click away.



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