19 Tips on How to Control High BP at Home.

Key Takeaways:

1. High blood pressure is a significant concern in India, with 88% of individuals not having it under control.

2. Uncontrolled hypertension can lead to severe cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes.

3. Managing blood pressure without drugs is essential, and the blog explains how to control blood pressure (home remedies).

4. Lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, limiting salt intake, managing stress, and getting quality sleep can help control blood pressure.

5. Dietary adjustments, including consuming potassium-rich foods and omega-3 fats and following the DASH diet, can also improve blood pressure management.

Introduction

According to the WHO, 88% of people in India who have hypertension do not have it under control. These numbers are worrisome because uncontrolled hypertension is a leading cause of heart disease.

Controlling blood pressure is crucial for preventing cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke. It helps sustain the health of vital organs like the heart, brain, and kidneys.

If you have high blood pressure, it is vital to learn how to control blood pressure without drugs.

Hence, let us dive into 19 tips on how to control BP (high) at home easily.

19 Home Remedies for High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure or hypertension can be managed with natural and often accessible means offered by home remedies. Here are 19 home remedies for managing high blood pressure. From lifestyle changes to dietary adjustments, these suggestions offer ways to keep your blood pressure under control. Let's dive into these tips.

1. Exercise

Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your heart. Regular exercise can help lower your BP by 5–7 mmHg if you have high blood pressure.

Physical activity lowers blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels and reducing resistance to blood flow.

Benefits of exercise training to control blood pressure at home
Image credit: Determinants of exercise adherence and maintenance among patients with hypertension: a narrative review - Scientific Figure on ResearchGate.

Other potential mechanisms include improvements in inflammation, artery function, and body weight, all contributing to better blood pressure control.

Also Read: 3 Powerful Exercises for Healthy Heart in 2024

2. Limit salt

The common salt contains 2 elements, i.e., Sodium (Na) and Chlorine (Cl).

Sodium is essential in moderate amounts to maintain healthy blood pressure. However, excess sodium can increase the blood pressure.

Excess sodium is eating more than 2g of sodium (or more than 5 g of salt) daily. The higher the salt intake, the more elevated the blood pressure.

Excess salt intake leads to water retention and raises blood volume, putting pressure on the kidneys. This can lead to high blood pressure.

The excess salt does not come from your homemade meals. In contrast, you consume excess sodium through packaged foods. Hence, the best way to avoid consuming surplus sodium is to avoid packaged foods.

Cutting back to about 1.75 grams of sodium per day (4.4 grams of salt) can reduce blood pressure by about 4.2/2.1 mmHg, respectively.

3. Manage stress

Stress is not just bad for your mental health but also your physical health.

Stress can increase heart rate and blood pressure. Hence, to control high BP, managing chronic stress is vital.

How to control high blood pressure immediately along with stress:

The best way to lower your BP and stress immediately is to use breathing exercises such as.

  1. Deep breathing
  2. Diaphragmatic breathing
  3. 4-7-8 breathing (also known as relaxing breath)
  4. Alternate nostril breathing (Nadi shodhana)
  5. Box breathing (Square breathing)
  6. Breath counting

4. Sleep well

You should sleep for about 7 to 9 hours daily.

Too little or too much sleep increases the risk of hypertension. Hence, sleeping less than 7 or more than 9 hours may affect your blood pressure.

Along with the amount of sleep, the quality is also crucial. To get the best quality sleep:

  • Establish a consistent sleep schedule.
  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine.
  • Limit screen time before bed.
  • Ensure a comfortable sleep environment.
  • Avoid tea, coffee and large meals close to bedtime.

5. Avoid smoking

Effect of smoking on high blood pressure and other body systems
Image credit: Cigarette Smoking and Hypertension - Scientific Figure on ResearchGate.

Smoking or second-hand smoke can increase the chances of heart attack andstroke. It also negatively affects the health of your arteries.

Smoking buildups plaque in the arteries, which is a risk factor for hypertension.

Also, smoking increases blood pressure temporarily. Hence, if you already have hypertension, it is awful for you.

Hence, to control hypertension, quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke.

6. Limit alcohol

It is a myth that alcohol in moderation (especially wine) is good. No amount of alcohol consumption is 'healthy.'

Alcohol can raise blood pressure by stimulating the nervous system, constricting blood vessels, and increasing heart rate. Additionally, excessive alcohol consumption leads to weight gain, further contributing to high blood pressure levels.

Therefore, to control blood pressure, avoid alcohol. However, when avoiding alcohol is not possible, men should not have more than 2 drinks, and women should not have more than 1 drink.

7. Monitor caffeine

Caffeine is the active ingredient in tea and coffee, which boosts energy and wakes you up. Drinking tea and coffee is heart-healthy for a person with normal blood pressure.

But if you have high blood pressure, consuming caffeine can increase your blood pressure. Hence, you may need to avoid coffee or drink it in moderation (less than 2 cups per day).

Severely hypertensive people who drink two or more cups of coffee daily face twice the risk of heart-related death.

8. Lose weight

About 65–78% of cases of primary hypertension are because of obesity. A 5% increase in body weight raises the risk of hypertension by 20-30%.

Obesity triggers high blood pressure by overactivating the nervous system, hormone imbalances, and kidney changes. The primary treatment for obesity-related hypertension is weight loss.

Hence, you must lose some kilograms to control your blood pressure!

9. Cardio daily

Cardio exercises, short for cardiovascular exercises, elevate the heart rate and improve overall heart health. These include activities like running, cycling, swimming, and brisk walking. They help strengthen the heart and lungs, improve circulation, and boost endurance.

The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of high-intensity cardio exercises every week. This means either 30 mins of walking or 15 mins of jogging, 5 times a week.

Also Read: Your Complete Guide To Cardio Exercises

10. Mindfulness

Being mindful is a great stress reliever. It also helps lower your blood pressure.

In a study, adults with hypertension who participated in 8 weeks of mindfulness programs had significantly lower blood pressure.

The mindfulness program aimed to enhance attention control, meditation, self-awareness, and emotion regulation, fostering positive changes in diet, exercise, alcohol intake, and stress management.

Hence, adding all the above mindfulness activities into your routine may also help you lower your BP.

By learning mindfulness activities, you will also learn how to lower blood pressure in minutes.

11. Yoga

A man doing yoga to control high bp at home

Yoga is excellent for giving your body a workout and strengthening up.

It may also have benefits in lowering blood pressure. According to a study, people who perform regular yoga see a lowering in BP of about 4 mm Hg.

Hence, adding yoga to your hypertension self-care routine might be a good idea.

12. Relax with hobbies

Engaging in enjoyable hobbies can reduce stress, lowering blood pressure.

Activities like painting, gardening, or reading trigger relaxation responses in the body, promoting overall well-being.

Taking time for hobbies helps distract from stressors, promotes better emotional balance, and potentially reduces hypertension risk.

13. Check-ups

Regular health check-ups enable early detection of blood pressure levels, allowing for timely intervention if hypertension develops.

Additionally, they facilitate ongoing monitoring and adjustment of medication doses, ensuring optimal blood pressure control and reducing the risk of complications.

Hence, to keep your blood pressure under control, schedule regular doctor visits.

14. Omega-3 fats

Omega-3 fats are essential fatty acids in foods like fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts. They have heart-healthy benefits and anti-inflammatory properties.

Some studies say consuming about 3g of omega-3 fatty acids every day may help lower blood pressure. However, researchers need to conduct more studies to establish concrete evidence.

But we still recommend adding omega-3 fatty acids in your hypertension self-care routine. This is because omega-3 fatty acids are fantastic for heart health.

15. Potassium

Potassium helps regulate BP by counteracting the effects of sodium. It balances fluid levels in the body, relaxes blood vessel walls, and aids in proper nerve and muscle function.

Here is a list of potassium-rich foods:

  1. Bananas
  2. Sweet potatoes
  3. Spinach
  4. Avocado
  5. Beans (e.g., kidney beans, black beans)
  6. Oranges
  7. Potatoes (with skin)
  8. Yoghurt
  9. Fish (e.g., salmon, tuna)
  10. Tomatoes

16. Dietary fibre

Dietary fibre is a carbohydrate in plant-based foods that the body cannot digest and absorb. It passes through the gut relatively intact, adding bulk to stools and aids in digestion.

Studies show that if your diet is rich in fibre, it may benefit hypertension.

Fibre can lower LDL cholesterol and improve blood vessel elasticity, reducing vascular resistance. It also enhances insulin sensitivity and increases nitric oxide production, which supports blood vessel function.

17. DASH diet

The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy while limiting salt, saturated fats, and sweets.

A pie chart showing compoents of a DASH diet to control high BP at home

This balanced approach can lower blood pressure. It achieves this by reducing sodium intake, increasing potassium and magnesium intake, and promoting overall heart health.

A DASH diet alone may help reduce BP by about 6 to 11 mm Hg.

18. Limit sugar

Excess sugar intake causes inflammation and oxidative stress, damaging blood vessels and raising blood pressure.

Cutting sugar helps control blood pressure by reducing the risk of obesity, improving insulin sensitivity, and decreasing inflammation—all factors contributing to hypertension.

19. Portion Control

Portion control can help manage BP by avoiding overeating. Overeating can cause weight gain and obesity—risk factors for hypertension.

Portion control can help you balance your nutrient intake, ensuring you consume the proper nutrients for blood pressure regulation.

FAQs on how to lower blood pressure reading

Let's discuss some questions people often have about controlling blood pressure effectively. The 2 questions we are most frequently asked are:

How to lower blood pressure instantly in an emergency?

In an emergency, if someone's blood pressure spikes dangerously high, immediate actions can include:

  1. Relaxation techniques like deep breathing help reduce stress and lower blood pressure temporarily.
  2. Advising the person to sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
  3. Offering water to stay hydrated and potentially dilute sodium levels, which can impact blood pressure.
  4. Calling emergency medical services if the situation escalates or if the individual experiences symptoms like chest pain, severe headache, or dizziness.

However, it's crucial to note that these are temporary measures. Long-term blood pressure management requires lifestyle changes and medical intervention as prescribed by a healthcare professional.

What are some BP control exercises?

Some exercises that can help control blood pressure include:

  1. Aerobic exercises like brisk walking, jogging, cycling, etc., can lower blood pressure.
  2. Strength training to build muscle mass can improve overall fitness and control blood pressure.
  3. Flexibility exercises like yoga or tai chi promote relaxation, reduce stress, and may help lower blood pressure.
  4. Breathing exercises, like deep breathing, can temporarily reduce stress and lower blood pressure.

To learn more about these exercises, read 3 Powerful Exercises for Healthy Heart in 2024.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the high prevalence of uncontrolled hypertension in India highlights the need for proactive management.

Modern lifestyles, marked by inactivity and poor dietary choices, contribute to this issue. However, simple lifestyle changes and healthy habits can help control blood pressure effectively.

Controlling blood pressure may be challenging. But having the right tools can make it easier.

The Aware Health Rewards App is the tool you need to control your BP. Our app lets you track your BP, guides you in taking the proper steps, track medication, book tests, log daily activity and much more!

Download the Aware app today to begin your hypertension self-care!

Read my other blogs on Hypertension:
High Blood Pressure In Eyes: Symptoms, Causes, and Prevention

The Ultimate Guide About White Coat Syndrome

About the author: 

Lucky Mehtani
, B. Pharm, merges his healthcare expertise with a passion for writing to enhance India's heart health. Through insightful blogs, he provides well-researched information on managing Diabetes, Hypertension, and High Cholesterol, aiming to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
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