Cost-Effective Ways to Reduce Blood Pressureby Yumhee Park Content Producer
Taking care of your health can seem really expensive at times – from gym memberships to healthy, organic food costs rising – you might think you simply don’t have the finances to take care of your rising blood pressure. But attempting to reduce your blood pressure can be cost-effective. (All image credits: Thinkstock)
Eat out less
Restaurant meals are notorious for how much sodium, cholesterol, and fat they have. Although you can try and choose healthier options, nothing is going to beat a home-cooked meal with fresh ingredients. Try eating out less and cooking at home more to get back on track with your health and save money. With services like Blue Apron, cooking healthy meals at home has never been easier or more cost-effective.
Keep a food diary
Notebook: $4. Pen: $1.50. Getting your blood pressure under control: Priceless. Keeping a food diary can help you track how much food you’re consuming and in turn help you lose weight. Although it can start off as a tedious task, it could become an essential habit to shed pounds. Don’t want to spend your extra cash on a notebook and pen? Start using the note app on your phone. Lightbulb
Watch your alcohol intake
This is one of the less fun parts of trying to reduce your blood pressure, but being careful with your alcohol intake doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give it up entirely. In small amounts it could potentially lower blood pressure by 2 to 4 mm Hg, but in larger amounts it can both raise blood pressure and reduce the efficacy of hypertension medications.
Give up your afternoon coffee run
There are studies that report caffeine can raise blood pressure, claim it has no effect on it at all or even that it can reduce blood pressure. So while the evidence remains unclear, many experts and doctors still agree that it’s best to watch you caffeine intake. Save some money and instead of a coffee run in the afternoon, take some time to brew some herbal tea that you can buy in bulk at any tea store.
Stress, especially chronic stress is a major risk factor for high blood pressure. There are going to simply be circumstances you can’t control that will stress you out, but destressing doesn’t need to include an expensive massage. Take some time out of your day to clear you mind by meditating. Check out our infographics on meditation and mindfulness meditation to get you started.
Opt for home workouts
Gym memberships, fitness club passes, yoga classes – although exercise options seem limitless, many of these options can cost a pretty penny, and exercise equipment isn't cheap either. But if you’re a member of a streaming media account, many of them carry exercise content. That means you can do all the latest fitness crazes, from pilates to Zumba, all in the comfort of your living room.
We’ve saved the best for last: indulge in a midday nap. Taking a snooze during the middle of the day has shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events by up to 10 percent and according to a new study, nappers had a 5 percent lower average 24-hour ambulatory systolic blood pressure compared to people who did not nap. How much does sleeping cost? Nothing. Zzz on, folks!