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Lifestyle Changes for Managing Hypertension

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Lifestyle Changes for Managing Hypertension

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Hypertension is a condition where there is elevated blood pressure. Read this article to know more.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Lekshmipriya. B

Published At February 27, 2018
Reviewed AtJuly 14, 2023

Overview:

Hypertension is the leading issue in the global burden of diseases. It causes many cardiovascular problems in the body like coronary heart disease, congestive heart disease, ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, and renal failure. But, is taking medicine for it going to make everything alright? Do we have to do anything else apart from taking the pills?

Yes, there are a few effective ways to tackle hypertension. By making notable lifestyle changes you can fight hypertension and decrease your dependence on pills.

1. Salt Restriction in the Diet:

Can something as simple as the common salt be a reason to develop hypertension? Yes, salt causes water to be retained in the body due to some physicochemical feedback and causes increased drive of blood pressure. You can benefit from controlling the amount of salt that goes in with your food. It is recommended to use a dietary salt of fewer than six grams per day and avoid excess salt in the form of table salt. It is necessary to control your cravings for salty foods.

2. Physical Activity:

In this modern world, we face many health issues, including hypertension due to a sedentary lifestyle. It is not uncommon in the big cities of any country to see an increased number of hypertensives due to lack of physical activity. One can help themselves by taking a brisk walk of 20 to 30 minutes per day. Start from today and experience the change. Yoga can be really helpful in reducing hypertension. Sarvangasana is one notable yoga posture for managing hypertension conditions. The blood pressure is lowered, digestive system and nervous system are activated. This posture strengthens the muscle in front of the neck, upper back, and neck muscles. The core muscles are greatly engaged to provide stabilization of the body. When inverting the body, the blood pressure goes high. This sends a signal to the brain, and after the cascade of the events, the blood pressure is reduced. This will help in maintaining homeostasis. Regular practice of this exercise is very beneficial for hypertension patients. Veins in the body do not have a muscular wall for the transportation of blood around the body. They have only one-way transportation that will help in preventing the backflow of the blood. It also helps to carry the deoxygenated blood back to the heart. Inversions help in allowing gravity to open the blocked heart valves by improving the circulations.

  • Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) Posture: In yoga, Sarva means all, Anga means limb, and Asana refers to posture. It is not very difficult yoga, but it requires practice. This yoga posture is considered the queen of asanas. The steps to perform Sarvangasana are mentioned below.

    • Lie on your back with legs together and arms on the side. Your palms should be facing down.

    • Bend your knees and your feet closer to your body.

    • Inhale and as you inhale, lift your hip, lower back and bring your thighs closer to your upper body.

    • Straighten the legs towards the ceiling with hands supporting your lower back.

    • Bring your body in a straight line from head to toe.

    • Gaze at your chest.

    • Breathe while doing this and hold your breath for ten counts.

  • Halasana (Plow Pose) Posture: In yoga, Hala means Plow, and Asana refers to posture. It is a difficult posture to perform and requires professional help. The steps to perform Halasana are mentioned below.

    • Halasana is usually performed after Sarvangasana. On exhale, bring your hip down and feet above and over your body.

    • Otherwise, start by lying on your back with legs together and arms on the side with palms facing down.

    • Lift your legs to 90 degrees and take two breaths there.

    • Lift your hip and bring your leg above and over the body using your abs.

    • Straighten your legs over your head by pressing the toes on the floor.

    • Interlace your hands on the back of your body.

    • Hold the pose for ten breaths.

    • On exhale, slowly roll down, bending your knees.

3. Weight Reduction:

It is very easy to increase but very hard to achieve weight reduction. But if you are dedicated, weight reduction can be made, and hypertension can be avoided. Around 9 kilograms of weight loss will reduce your blood pressure by 6 mm Hg. It is a big thing. If an individual reduces their excess weight, then the blood circulation can be enhanced. This will help in reducing hypertension. Yoga has proved its advantageous ways in helping a person to lose weight. Dhanurasana is one of the ideal yoga postures for reducing your weight.

  • Dhanurasana (Bow Pose): Dhanur means bow, and Asana refers to posture. In the initial stages, it might be difficult to perform this posture, but as the individual starts noticing positive effects, then they can proceed with doing this. This yoga can be practiced by following the below steps.

    • Lie flat on your stomach with legs apart. Your arms should be maintained in a sideways position.

    • Gently bend both your legs and catch hold of your ankles.

    • As you inhale, raise your head, neck, chest, legs, and thighs up by pressing the abdomen on the floor.

    • Now look upwards. You have to continue your breathing pattern while performing this.

    • Hold your breath for ten counts.

    • Rock your body up and down by pressing on the abdomen.

    • While exhaling, release your arms and legs, bring your forehead down, and relax.

4. DASH Diet:

It is a type of diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy products. DASH means dietary approaches to stop hypertension. Vegetables and fruits are enriched sources of magnesium, potassium, and fibers. Dairy products are rich in calcium. This helps reduce blood pressure and helps against hypertension. In a few ways, vegetables are better than fruits because they are low in sugar content.

These small changes in day-to-day life can help you from hypertension and lead to a healthy life. Checking your blood pressure regularly is beneficial for your health.

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Dr. Janrao Smit Uttam
Dr. Janrao Smit Uttam

Internal Medicine

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