According to the American Heart Association, one out of every three adults
over the age of 20 suffers from high blood pressure. If left uncontrolled
or undetected, high blood pressure can lead to serious health risks such
as heart diseases, stroke, kidney disease and even vision loss. There
are several factors that can put you at risk of developing high blood
pressure including your family history, age, gender, as well as your lifestyle
choices. If you think that you are at risk of developing high blood pressure,
the first thing to do is to get yourself checked by a doctor. You can
also start taking charge of your lifestyle choices to help reduce your risk.
Your weight affects your blood pressure significantly. As your weight increases,
so does your blood pressure. Losing at least 10 extra pounds can already
improve your blood pressure, and that is why it is important to exercise
regularly to keep your weight in check. Regardless if you are overweight
or not, it is important to set aside at least 30 minutes each day for
some cardiovascular exercises such as walking, running, cycling, swimming
or dancing. You may also ask your doctor regarding other physical activities
that can help you lower your blood pressure.
A healthy diet can help improve and maintain your blood pressure. This
may be easier said than done, but the important thing is to have better
choices regarding your food intake.
Below are some simple changes you can do to help you keep a healthy diet:
Reduce sodium – Sodium can increase your chance in getting high blood pressure.
To decrease sodium in your diet, read food labels, limit your intake of
processed foods and consider using other herbs and spices instead of salt
to season your food.
Increase potassium – Fruits and vegetables are rich and potassium which helps lessen
the effects of sodium on your blood pressure. Make sure to add fruits
and vegetables to your meals to reduce your risk of high blood pressure.
Limit alcohol – Drinking more than the moderate amount of alcohol can significantly
increase your blood pressure. Studies suggest that small amounts of red
wine or beer can potentially reduce your blood pressure that is why the
key here is to limit instead of avoiding it completely.
Cut back on caffeine – The effect of caffeine in the blood pressure is still being debated,
but just to be safe, you may want to limit your caffeine intake. If you
are a heavy coffee drinker, you may want to consider switching to decaf
or tea instead.
Smoking not only significantly increases your blood pressure, but it can
also put you at risk of developing other diseases including a wide range
of cancer types and other respiratory as well as reproductive problems.
It has been proven time again that smoking is bad for your health. Quitting
this nasty habit helps your blood pressure return to normal and can even
substantially increase your life expectancy.
It may be impossible to completely avoid stress, especially in today’s
fast-paced world. But how you react to your stressors can make all the
difference in your blood pressure. Be mindful on how you react to your
stressors. Avoid stress eating or smoking. Learn to manage your stress
by allotting some time doing things that you love to get your mind off
stress. You may also consider doing meditations or yoga to help clear
Monitor your blood pressure and visit your doctor regularly
Blood pressure monitors are easily available in most pharmacies even without
a prescription. Home monitoring can help you assess yourself and check
if your lifestyle changes are working or not. Your doctor can also give
you advice on how to control your blood pressure, which is why regular
visits are also important. If your high blood pressure persists despite
your lifestyle changes, your doctor can also prescribe medications for
you to reduce it.
Your blood pressure can be manageable as long as you make significant lifestyle
changes. It may be difficult at first, but with persistence and support
from your family and friends, you will be leading a healthy lifestyle
in no time.
This article contains general information about medical conditions and
treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as
such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis
of a physician.
If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should
consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.