Hypertension is common. About 20 to 30 million Germans are affected. A healthy lifestyle can change that. Doctor Jonathan Häußer knows which small steps make a big difference.
We often find it difficult to make major changes in behavior. And how much influence do we really have on our health? More than we think! Let’s take high blood pressure as an example.
Hypertension is common. About 20 to 30 million Germans are affected. And it is by no means a condition that only affects old people.
How much we can do with our lifestyle is also reflected in the official recommendations. If high blood pressure is diagnosed, it should not be treated with medication at first. In the beginning – and also afterwards – lifestyle changes are the most important building block. But what does it all involve?
Getting enough exercise is the first building block. Regular physical activity alone can lower your blood pressure. It doesn’t even have to be sport in the narrower sense. Even everyday activities such as a brisk walk and cycling to work can help. It can also be simple things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator and getting off the bus one stop earlier.
The second important component of physical activity is strength training. It has been scientifically proven that strength training also has a benefit in high blood pressure independently of endurance training. This also applies to various other diseases such as diabetes or heart attacks and strokes.
Eating healthy also helps lower blood pressure. This is where a Mediterranean diet has proven useful. This includes lots of fruit and vegetables, olive oil and fish, but little meat and sausage.
Less salt can also lower blood pressure. A healthy diet also helps with other diseases, the exact recommendations may vary somewhat. But you can never go wrong with lots of fruit and vegetables.
In contrast to a healthy diet, stress tends to raise blood pressure. Therefore, relaxation techniques can also help to lower blood pressure.
It is similar with sleep. Sleep is irreplaceable. We regenerate at night and our brain allows itself a break.
When it comes to sleeping, it’s not just the duration that counts, but also the quality. In general, seven to nine hours of sleep per night is recommended. Those who sleep less than eight hours a night have an increased risk of blood pressure.
But how can you adopt a healthy lifestyle? It’s important to start small. Take small steps instead of taking the first step too big. Failing the first step is demotivating.
It’s better if you take a step on the ladder of success. Only tackle one thing at a time, otherwise you will quickly be overwhelmed. And you can celebrate successes! Reward yourself when you reach your goals.
It is good if your goals are not only achievable, but also measurable. Instead of choosing “I want to move more” as a goal, achieving a goal like “I want to walk 30 minutes twice a week” is much more concrete and easier to monitor.
It helps if you make an appointment with someone for such a walk or if you tell as many other people as possible about it. Then you will feel more committed to your goal.
failure is normal. Nobody is perfect. But don’t give up! Get up and straighten the crown! It is permissible to ask others for help if you cannot do it on your own. Imagine how nice it is when you reach your goal! Big changes start with a first small step.
Jonathan Häußer is a doctor and sports scientist and feels particularly at home in sports and nutritional medicine. In his free time he is also very active himself. When he’s not at work or walking through the woods, he can often be found at the ICF Hamburg.
Originally posted by Movo, How to Lower Your Blood Pressure Without Medication: A Doctor Gives Tips.