Lifestyle Changes to Lower High Blood Pressure for Smokers

A man suffering from lower blood pressure

Smoking invites numerous health hazards that can have far-reaching effects on health. Smokers need to understand the health implications that smoking can have. When you pick up smoking, it is presumably for fun or for being associated with a group of friends who like smoking, but with time, addiction grips you and, without realizing you allow the effects of tobacco to wreak havoc on your health. Some realize how much they are ruining their health and try to control smoking; some don’t stop. Little realizing the extent to which their health is being damaged, they continue to smoke. The adversities of smoking cigarettes are not limited to the smoking individual but also family members and those surrounding them through second-hand smoking. Smoking inevitably shoots up blood pressure and causes cardiac problems, lung diseases, and uncountable health problems. So if you wish to lower high blood pressure, you need to introduce some lifestyle changes. The first among them is to aim for a smoke-free life. Without a change in habits and lifestyle, it is difficult to protect your body from the ill effects of smoking. Start working towards adopting healthy habits, as hypertension is a major cause of heart attacks and stroke. Explore the immediate need to quit tobacco by understanding its impact on blood pressure.

How do tobacco products affect blood pressure?

How tobacco products can impact reduced blood pressure

Smoking cigarettes causes blood pressure to rise temporarily, smoking damages the walls of the blood vessels leading to fat buildup and narrowing of the walls of the arteries. Thickening blood, causing it to almost clot, makes the heart's work difficult as it must strain to pump. This condition makes individuals prone to strokes and heart attacks. Smoking and high blood pressure work like fuel on fire, so if you care about your health, stop smoking before it's too late. 

After smoking a cigarette, the sympathetic nervous system gets activated, and it takes 20 minutes for the blood pressure and pulse to return to normal. What are the long-term effects?

Though smoking does not always lead to hypertension for those who exercise regularly with smoking, it has been seen in most cases to do so. Repeated temporary spikes in blood pressure are not good for the body and can cause damage to the brain and heart health. Quitting smoking can impact overall health positively and decrease risks of heart attacks and brain strokes.

When the sympathetic nervous system gets activated, it causes extra blood flow to the muscles, making the body stressed and tense, raising the pulse and heart rate.

On the other hand, quitting smoking may cause withdrawal symptoms that may feel difficult to cope with, but these effects are temporary and wear off with time.

What about losing weight and exercising?

While smoking can have a damaging effect on health, many who smoke are of the impression that they can restore a lot of their health by keeping their weight in check through exercising. Smokers who feel that smoking and exercising will keep them fit and away from hypertension should not harbour these myths. Smokers reach the exhaustion point much ahead of nonsmokers. Their capacity to run is far reduced. Physical exercises tire them easily, and their muscle flexibility and strength weaken with time. With disturbed sleep patterns their body's immunity suffers. Their lung condition begins to deteriorate, starting with shortness of breath and if smoking is prolonged, they can acquire lifelong diseases like COPD. While exercising, there is a good chance that they will suffer injuries twice as much as a nonsmoker. Injuries tend to take a longer time to heal as their body immunity is quite feeble.

Smoking causes inflammation not just in the lungs but the overall body. Bone and joints lose their agility, and smokers have a higher chance of attracting diseases like Osteoporosis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Low back pain, and exercise-related injuries, like bursitis, tendonitis, sprains, and fractures. Surgeries for them can get complicated and recovery time may be stretched. Some smoke thinking that it is a natural way to reduce weight. Contrary to this belief, smoking affects the metabolism negatively. Smoking accumulates more calories than you lose and body fat is distributed in apple-shaped patterns in the abdominal and centre of the body having negative effects. Practicing lifestyle changes with a good diet, exercising, and most importantly leading a smoke-free life can help smokers get back their health and lower high blood pressure.

Does stress affect my blood pressure?

Stress may be another cause of spiking blood pressure. When individuals are under stress there is a tendency for hormonal surge causing the heart rate to escalate. Stress is a normal condition, and individuals experience this condition on a day-to-day basis. When the heart beats faster the blood vessels narrow resulting in increased blood pressure. Stress may not last for a long time and may not cause long-term high blood pressure. However, this statement is more apt for nonsmokers. There is a good chance that smokers who react to stress can face heart attacks and brain strokes from stress as their blood vessels are already narrow due to fat buildup. There is a good chance that they already suffer from hypertension. Smokers are prone to anxiety, depression, and being loners from the effects of nicotine, they mostly end up remaining aloof from people. Hormonal changes in the body cause these effects but unless you quit smoking and switch to a smoke-free life with deliberate lifestyle changes, you cannot lower high blood pressure levels and bring your life back on track.

How can I lower my blood pressure from smoking?

Smoking and lowering blood pressure is like trying to climb a greased pole. With all the discussions we have had till now, you must have realized that the best route to healthy blood pressure is giving up on smoking. A smoke-free life is your only bet, and with lifestyle changes, you can try to lower high blood pressure. Nevertheless, quitting tobacco is no mean task and many who have tried have failed numerous times. The trick is to never give up, stay resolute, and keep trying. Never lose sight of the bigger issue which is your health. No one wants a life marred with sickness and lifelong ailments. A healthy life contributes to a happy life, so why complicate your life further, thinking that smoking can ease your worries? The only way you can set your life back on track is with discipline. Follow routine day-to-day activities and keep yourself physically fit, exercise daily by walking, jogging, going to the gym, yoga, or anything that suits you.

Eating healthy organic home-cooked food, keeping yourself well hydrated, and trying to achieve a smoke-free life are the best mantras for renewed health. If quitting smoking gets tough, try following ?Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). This is the surest and the safest way of breaking free from tobacco addiction. NRT works in this way, at first it feeds an equal percentage of nicotine to your body that you are used to as per your smoking history. Gradually decreasing the percentage to a level when you experience no withdrawal symptoms as nicotine in reducing doses keeps your craving satisfied, weaning you off tobacco, you can survive without nicotine and cigarettes. This is considered one of the best and safest ways to counter nicotine addiction. NRT comes in patch, gum, and mint forms. These are easy to use and ideal for people who have not been successful in quitting cigarettes the cold turkey way. NRT, with help from a healthcare professional will assist you set more determined goals. Making the right choices in lifestyle will aid in walking into smoke-free life. With planned efforts, you can lower high blood pressure and set yourself free from the vicious craving for tobacco. After all, if you want to choose health over addiction, who can stop you but yourself?
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