The good news is that if you are willing to put in a little effort you can help lower your blood pressure. Along with a healthy diet, some exercise, and eating less sodium, deep breathing is another option that can really help.
What is High Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the flow of blood running through the veins thanks to the beating of the heart. There is a normal flow and too much pressure. High blood pressure is a force of blood on the walls of the veins with too much pressure.
The only way to measure blood pressure is through a special monitor that measures the systolic pressure over the diastolic pressure: number/number. The systolic pressure is a number that identifies the rate at which the heart is pumping blood and the diastolic is the rate of blood pressure when the heart is resting, or between pumps.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension is defined as a reading above 140/90, and is diagnosed as severe when it is above 180/120.
This condition does not present any symptoms, but when left untreated can cause heart disease and stroke.
Additionally, the Cleveland Clinic and the Baylor College of Medicine lists heart failure, heart attack, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease as comorbidities of hypertension.
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure is a result of many things. Genetics, bad diet, high stress lifestyle, smoking, drinking, and lack of exercise are some of the main causes.
As the heart is made to pump faster, and harder and needing to process more and more blood though small veins; it puts undue pressure on this vital organ, so it is important to get this pressure under control.
It is important to keep fat and salt to a minimum, as they clog the arteries and cause blood vessels to weaken.
Lack of exercise and physical activity causes everything in the body to weaken which increases blood pressure, so a healthy low sodium diet, medication, and exercise are often used by doctors to treat hypertension.
Deep Breathing and Lowering Blood Pressure
Practicing deep breathing regularly throughout the day can also help lower blood pressure and reduce stress, which makes it worse. The body needs a balance of calm, relaxation, proper diet, rest, and exercise to run efficiently.
Deep breathing allows the body to help maintain this balance. Stress can cause your blood pressure to go up which weakens the blood vessel walls. Deep breathing helps to maintain a more natural and lower blood pressure keeping the strain off the blood vessel walls.
Deep breathing is a very simple task you can perform anywhere and at any time.
How to Deep Breathe
1. Let go of all thoughts
2. Breathe in through your nose
3. Hold that breath for about 3 seconds
4. Exhale through the mouth, exhale at twice the speed it took to inhale
Repeat several times per day, and as needed during times of heighted stress. You can do this anywhere, but of course, fresh clean air surroundings are always best. Meditation is another great practice that includes mindful breathing and a deep focus on the breath.
The benefit of lowering your blood pressure with deep breathing is one that you cannot afford to miss. High blood pressure can creep on you anytime in your life, but risk factors increase with age, specifically in people age 40 and older. The difficult thing is that you cannot really detect it.
There are no symptoms, so it is important to be tested regularly, especially if your lifestyle is not so healthy or you are overweight.
One of the best ways to not get high blood pressure is to take preventative measures. When you deep breathe and practice deep breathing regularly, you are preventing yourself from getting sick and also boosting many other aspects of your health associated with deep breathing.
When you put in a little preventative effort, it can really pay off in the long run.