Truck drivers tend to be at a higher risk for certain health issues – including high blood pressure. Why? It’s due to the nature of your work. This lifestyle can be stressful, sedentary with little time for exercise, and it makes eating healthy while on the road challenging. While chronic hypertension is a common issue, there are several ways you can try to lower it naturally to avoid needing medication or to help improve your blood pressure enough where you no longer need it. Here are 10 ways to lower your blood pressure naturally:
- Ditch the caffeine
There have been some studies that show a correlation between caffeine and extremely elevated blood pressure. Researchers at Duke University say to cut back on caffeine because it can have a huge effect on heart health.
- Meditate and relax
According to the American Heart Association, meditation can play a role in lowering blood pressure naturally. Try some deep breathing exercises, a yoga session or even a guided meditation session. Relax!
- Reduce sodium
Studies have shown that some individuals with high blood pressure are sensitive to salt. Meaning that if you fall into this category, consuming too much salt or sodium can make your blood pressure worse. Since doctors are unable to determine which individuals could benefit from a low sodium diet, most of them recommend that all people who suffer from hypertension should avoid excess salt.
- Get better sleep
High blood pressure is often linked to sleep apnea and other sleep issues. If you have high blood pressure and feel like good sleep is a struggle for you, scheduling a sleep study is worth it.
- Work out regularly
The American Heart Association recommends daily exercise for everyone, but especially for those with hypertension. Incorporating a 30-minute fitness routine into your daily schedule will make your heart stronger and lower your blood pressure.
- Eat a healthy diet
Eat a balance of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy items, making sure you’re choosing things that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Doing this regularly can significantly lower high blood pressure. Food rich in potassium, such as bananas, are especially effective.
- Reduce your stress
The trucking life can be significantly more stressful than other careers. Stress and anxiety can cause episodes of elevated blood pressure. While it’s not known how much chronic stress affects blood pressure, experts agree that constant stress has a strong impact on your lifestyle habits and increases your risk of health concerns overall. People who are stressed out all the time are more likely to sleep poorly, not exercise often, make unhealthy eating choices and pick up unhealthy habits like smoking. If stress and anxiety are an issue for you, work on lowering your stress levels.
- Take blood pressure-lowering supplements
Some studies have shown that these natural supplements may help lower blood pressure:
– Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (fish oil)
– Whey protein
- Lose weight
There is often a correlation between blood pressure and weight. As weight increases, so does the blood pressure. Weight loss is one of the most effective things you can do to bring your blood pressure back to a normal range.
- Quite smoking
Smoking actually increases your blood pressure. Another good reason to try and break the habit if you do so.