Our fast lifestyle has brought many boons and banes for modern humankind. We now enjoy a longer lifespan, thanks to advanced medicine and technology. But, our modern sedentary lifestyle contributes to several adverse health conditions, one of them being high blood pressure, medically termed Hypertension. Today nearly half of the adults in the U.S have Hypertension and the other ailments that accompany it.
A person has Hypertension when his systolic blood pressure is more than 130 mmHg, and the diastolic blood pressure is more than 80 mmHg. Physicians generally prescribe blood pressure-lowering medicines to patients with severely high blood pressure. However, if the blood pressure is moderately high, some lifestyle changes can help keep blood pressure in check.
The lifestyle changes to reduce high blood pressure may include exercises and weight loss regime, changes in dietary habits, or supplements like CBD hemp capsules. This article will talk about six simple ways that help lower blood pressure in the elderly and enable them to live a long, healthy life.
1. Live An Active Life
Various studies conducted over the past few years indicate that moderate exercise every day helps regulate low blood pressure, especially in men. A 2013 study showed that aerobic exercises could be as good as blood pressure medications in lowering blood pressure in sedentary older adults.
A vigorous workout regime might not be feasible for older adults. Mild to moderate activities like walking, using the stairs, doing light household chores, gardening, riding a bicycle can help keep the blood pressure regular.
Excessive weight can also contribute to high blood pressure. Some simple freestyle exercises for half an hour per day can help you lose weight and regulate your blood pressure. Several studies also show that professionally curated weight loss diets can reduce the diastolic blood pressure by an average of 3.2 mmHg and systolic blood pressure by 4.5 mm Hg.
2. Avoid Smoking, Alcohol, and Caffeine
Smoking has several ill effects on our health, and high blood pressure is one. Research has shown that our blood pressure increases temporarily immediately after smoking. It also increases the heart rate. For chronic smokers, the effect persists for a long time.
The harmful chemicals present in tobacco can damage the wall of the arteries. It can narrow the blood vessels, causing them to inflame, leading to increased blood pressure. The chemicals get deposited in the walls of the blood vessels.
Studies also indicate that 10 grams of alcohol can increase blood pressure by 1 mm Hg. The same effect can be observed by consuming caffeine. A study shows that consuming 32 ounces of caffeinated drinks can raise the systolic blood pressure for 2 hours. Thus, cutting back on your alcohol and caffeine consumption is always good.
3. Try CBD Supplements
Studies on the effect of CBD on blood pressure have shown promising results in recent years. Nine males participated in a study in 2017. It showed that a single dose of CBD supplements could reduce blood pressure in participants under stress. Another animal study conducted in the same year indicates that CBD can significantly lower blood pressure in mice.
CBD is an organic, non-psychoactive ingredient obtained from the Cannabis plant. It interacts with the endocannabinoid receptors present in the blood vessels. It shows vasodilatory effects and helps to widen the blood vessels and improve blood flow. As a result, it reduces increased blood pressure and the risk of the diseases associated with Hypertension.
Apart from keeping the blood pressure in check, CBD can also help regulate diabetes, a common condition associated with Hypertension. CBD supplements can also help reduce anxiety and stress and thereby help regulate stress-induced high blood pressure. CBD supplements are available in oils, tinctures, capsules, and gummies.
4. Cut Back On Sugar and Processed Foods
Sugar and refined carbohydrates are infamous for contributing to high blood pressure. A 2014 study has shown that sugar, especially fructose, can increase blood pressure more than salt. Another study conducted in 2020 indicated that a low-carb and low-fat diet significantly lowers blood pressure.
Processed foods like chips, pizza, and deli meats, contain high sugar. If a food is labeled “low fat,” it might contain a high amount of sugar and salt to compensate for the less fat. However, you try having dark chocolates. They comprise about 60-70% of cacao which helps to lower blood pressure. The flavonoids present in dark chocolates help widen the blood vessels and aid in lowering blood pressure. It also helps relieve inflammation and reduce the risk of heart diseases.
5. Eat Food Rich in Protein
A study that assessed participants for several years concluded that people who consume a protein-rich diet have a lower risk of high blood pressure. People who eat at least 100 grams of protein a day have about 40% lower risk of developing Hypertension. In addition, those who eat fiber-rich food have a 60% lesser chance of having high blood pressure.
A high-protein diet for the elderly might include fish, eggs, nuts, beans and legumes, protein shakes, etc. Your diet should also include more potassium and less sodium. However, if you have kidney disease, too much protein may not be feasible. We recommend you consult your dietician before changing your diet. He will help you prepare a suitable diet according to your body’s needs.
6. Try Meditation and Yoga
Meditation and yoga are age-old yet effective methods of reducing stress, controlling breathing patterns, and lowering blood pressure. A 2013 review indicates that yoga can help reduce the diastolic blood pressure by 3.62 mm Hg and the systolic blood pressure by 4.17 mm Hg.
Evidence suggests that sleep deprivation and impaired sleep cycle, commonly noticed in aged people, can increase the risk of high blood pressure. A night of good restful sleep can also help in reducing blood pressure. If you have trouble sleeping at night, you can take CBD supplements to improve sleep quality.
The Bottom Line:
Several risk factors may contribute to increased blood pressure like upper belly fat, weight, etc. But a few simple lifestyle modifications can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of diseases commonly associated with Hypertension. You may also include Blood Pressure lowering supplements like Whey Protein, magnesium, and citrulline in your diet. We hope this article has helped you understand ways to lower blood pressure in elderly people.