Some tips on how to lower high blood pressure and relax without resorting to medication.
Stress and high blood pressure are linked as research shows, but instead of quoting more and more research articles, two online news sources decided to offer up some more creative takes on how to combat both.
Online community Yahoo Shine offers 12 drug-free ways to lower blood pressure:
1. Soaking in a bath after adding 2 cups of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) relaxes blood vessels as you absorb the mineral through your skin.
2. Strength training using free weights, machines, or resistance bands twice a week.
3. Squeezing a handgrip or ball 3 times a week.
4. Doing yoga two or three times a week.
5. Getting enough potassium – the mineral that relaxes blood vessels, lowers blood pressure and counters the constricting action of sodium. Ideal is 4,700 mg/day, but just 750 to 1,000 mg above your usual intake can lower blood pressure by 2 to 3 points. That’s 2 bananas or 1 potato or 1 cup of cooked spinach.
6. Eating more than 2 percent of your calories in the form of yogurt (more than, say, 6 ounces every 3 days) prevents hypertension. Other dairy may also help.
7. Drinking a cup of beet juice every day. Leafy greens and other root vegetables will also do the trick.
8. Following the DASH diet — loads of fruit, veggies, and whole grains, along with protein, nonfat or low-fat dairy, and cutbacks in fats, salt, and sugar.
9. Pick meditation over Modern Family – meditate rather than watch TV, which actually raises blood pressure.
10. Losing weight — even just 9 pounds, lifts spirits and can make the difference between controlling blood pressure on your own and needing drugs.
11. Walking, jogging, or doing another aerobic challenge especially pulse-and respiration-raising exercises.
12. Breathing slowly can lower blood pressure. “Need a coach? RESPeRATE trains you to breathe 5 to 10 times a minute. When used for 15 minutes daily, the device lowers BP about 4 points more than other relaxing input (like soothing music), research shows.”
Stress not only causes high blood pressure, but insomnia, headaches, and heart disease. It can also affect your mood and your relationships with others, says an article in the Huffington Post. The online U.S. news aggregator and blog decided to ask readers for original ways to combat stress.
Besides exercise-related responses — like drumming while dancing, the following 15 were a tad more out-of-the-box:
1. House cleaning, including scrubbing the bathroom or vacuuming, releases a lot of stress.
2. Find a physical way to move out of your body like turning on music and dancing.
3. Headphones and an audio book while reclining on an inversion table.
4. Day dreaming — “you can do it anywhere and even pretend to be on the phone whilst doing it.”
5. Sitting around a bonfire.
6. Screaming in the car.
7. Walking your dog — if you don’t have one, walk a neighbor’s or volunteer at a shelter.
8. Horseback riding— “there’s nothing like being out in nature and trusting your horse.”
11. Games like Candy Crush and Robot Unicorn 2 or Disney’s Infinity.
13. Playing scrabble
15. Singing whilst walking