What is blood pressure? It is the force that causes the blood to pump from the heart to the arteries. The normal reading of blood pressure is typically less than 120/80mmHg. When this goes higher than normal, it means that the blood is moving through the arteries more quickly and forcefully, putting more pressure to the soft tissues and eventually destroying the blood vessels. One then is diagnosed with hypertension.
Hypertension is usually called a silent killer, as it doesn’t present with symptoms at the onset, not until there is already substantial damage to the heart. Most people are not aware that they do have hypertension because the symptoms are not visible.
To prevent this condition from silently and slowly killing us, try to do these following tips.
- Get Physical. Moving is one of the essential things to do to avoid several conditions. Aside from effectively lowering blood pressure, exercise improves strength, balance, and mood. It also reduces heart disease and diabetes risk. Visit the gym and ask for an exercise plan for your training coach. If you’re up for it, you can take your physical activities outside. Go hiking, biking, or mountain climbing.
- Reduce Your Salt Intake. Salt can cause water retention in the body, which may lead to increased blood pressure. The AHA suggests that we must limit our salt intake between 1500 and 2300 milligrams daily, which is equal to half a teaspoon of salt. To avoid too much salt, you can avoid adding it on your food but use herbs and spices instead to cover for the blandness. You should also restrict yourself from eating a lot of processed foods, as these are loaded with too much sodium.
- Base Your Diet On The DASH. The Dietary Approaches To Stop Hypertension consists of eating lean meats, low-fat dairy, fish, chicken, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. It also includes avoiding foods like whole dairy products, fatty meats, processed foods, and other foods that are highly saturated in fat.
- Stop Smoking. There is never anything good that you get out of smoking. In fact, the older you get, the higher your risk of suffering from hypertension, emphysema, and congestive obstructive pulmonary diseases. Second-hand smoking has even far worse side effects than the smokers themselves. Lung cancer is the most life-threatening disease that people get from passive smoke.
- Lose Weight. Blood pressure and body weight are directly proportional, meaning that as you gain excess weight, your blood pressure rises. That is why it is vital to keep your weight at bay. Even losing as little as ten pounds can tremendously help lower one’s blood pressure. The size of your waistline and your belly is also crucial in controlling your blood pressure. The bigger the fat encircling your waist (visceral fat), the higher the risk for hypertension. Also, it is ideal for a woman’s waistline to be less than 35 and men’s to be less than 40.
- Avoid Stress. These days, life is quicker than usual with businesses booming, and millennials are catching up with the many struggles to success. It can be difficult to make time to relax and rejuvenate. However, you must avoid stressing yourself too much, as this may cause you to feel anxious, depressed, and exhausted. All of these lead to mental and physical problems, including high blood pressure. Find time in your hectic schedule to slow down and rest your body and mind. You can take a 30-minute break from work and take a nap, or an hour after work to go to the spa and have a massage. Try other practices that you can do at home, like yoga and meditation.
If left untreated for some time, the risk of high blood pressure leading to more serious conditions such as heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure would be close to reality. Once you are aware that you are hypertensive, do have regular visits with your physician and try to follow all the tips mentioned above. It may be a cliché, but indeed, health is wealth.