Blood pressure is the pressure of blood circulating against the walls of the blood vessels as the result of the heart’s pump. Usually, it’s expressed in systolic pressure, the maximum pressure during one heartbeat. It can also be said in diastolic pressure, which is the minimum pressure between two heartbeats.
It’s important to take care of your blood pressure to avoid problems in circulation. Hypertension can cause long-term problems, such as heart diseases. Similar can be the case for hypotension, where having too low pressure can cause dizziness and fainting due to the lack of blood flow.
Knowing Healthy and Unhealthy Blood Pressure Ranges
According to the European Hypertension Guidelines, the healthy and unhealthy categories of blood pressure ranges are as follows (in mm HG, [S] Systolic, and [D] Diastolic, respectively):
- Normal: [S] Less than 120 and [D] Less than 80
- Elevated: [S] 120-129 and/or [D] Less than 80
- Grade 1 Hypertension: [S] 130-139 and/or [D] 80-89
- Grade 2 Hypertension: [S] 140-159 and/or [D] 90-99
- Grade 3 Hypertension: [S] 160-179 and/or 100-109
- Isolated systolic hypertension: [S] Greater than or equal to 140 and [D] Less than or equal to 90.
Make sure you consult with a professional for a confirmation of your readings.
Controlling Blood Pressure without Medication
There are a couple of ways to control your blood pressure if you are still to confirm any medical needs from a doctor. They range from modifying your diet to adopting some forms of restraint and discipline with your lifestyle. Check them out below!
Have a healthy diet.
If you’re experiencing hypertension, consider increasing your intake of potassium (for example, bananas). Take citrus fruits like lemons and oranges. Fatty fish and salmon can serve as alternatives for meat when you’re trying to treat your hypertension. Blueberries, kiwi, oats, and watermelon can help your diet. Of course, there’s always the choice of leafy green vegetables.
For those experiencing hypotension, consider taking in more fluids and foods high in vitamin-B12 such as eggs, animal meats, and nutritional yeast. You can also add salt to your diet to help increase blood pressure.
Cut back on caffeine.
Caffeine is a natural stimulant usually found in coffee, cola, and other products. Stimulants affect your blood pressure, heart, nervous system, and muscles to become more responsive. It’s understandable since people use it to be more productive or to start their tasks with extra energy.
But if you have hypertension, you will need to look for alternatives. Caffeine temporarily raises your blood pressure, so you may want to reduce your coffee consumption (and perhaps try some non-caffeine tea instead).
There are still many studies to be done on any long-term effects of stress on blood pressure, but we know this: stress creates a surge of hormones when you’re in a stressful situation. It’s similar to when you’re experiencing a flight-or-fight response: you can feel your heart beat faster.
Stress can be linked to certain behaviors. It may affect the way you eat healthy food (stress eating), drink alcohol, or smoke. Stress can arise from health conditions like anxiety and depression. Though these may not be directly linked to your blood pressure, emotional stress can have an effect on your arteries, which in the end can lead to heart disease.
Reducing Blood Pressure with Exercise
Engaging with exercise makes your body stronger. Because you become stronger, so does your heart; with regular exercise, your heart will get used to pumping more blood with less effort. In effect, it decreases the pressure on your arteries.
Exercise also helps maintain your weight which can have an effect on controlling your blood pressure. You should at least get at least 2 and a half hours of moderate aerobic exercise or 1 hour and 15 minutes of intense aerobic exercise every week. On the most active days, consider 30 minutes of aerobic exercise.
What is considered an aerobic activity, is any exercise that increases your heart rate and breathing.
- Active Sports
There are many aerobic activities you can look at. But overall, do aim to have enough aerobic exercise to help control your blood pressure.
Consult with a Professional
If you need more medical assistance when dealing with serious conditions regarding blood pressure, never hesitate to contact a professional.
Consulting a professional will help you make sure that:
- Your body functions are recorded thoroughly. Professionals have instruments dedicated to measuring your heart rate and heart pressure. If needed, they are also trained in taking and analyzing your blood samples.
- Professionals provide the correct diagnoses. Self-diagnosis presents a risk in choosing the incorrect medication or treatment for your disease.
- You get the right prescription for your medication. Your case might be serious and cannot simply be solved by over-the-counter medication.
- Professionals can guide you in taking care of yourself. You can ask a doctor what diet he or she can recommend for you for treatment.
We hoped it helped raise awareness of blood pressure complications and helped you out in looking for ways to control it.