Hypertension Awareness: Control Your Blood Pressure through Healthy Lifestyle Changes
If left untreated hypertension may lead to serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, organ failure, poor circulation and renal diseases. Unfortunately, there is still insufficient effort to educate the masses about this silent killer.
People only tend to pay attention to their weight not knowing that hypertension can be a result of different factors, and the condition can affect thin persons as well (although overweight individuals are in much higher risk).
Normal blood pressure should not exceed 120 mmHg (systolic pressure) and 80 mmHg (diastolic pressure). The first step towards a hypertension-free future is getting to know your blood pressure. If the check-up yielded negative results, don’t despair because there are healthy lifestyle changes that can help manage your blood pressure without resorting to medications.
Reduce alcohol intake and quit smoking
Cutting down on alcohol intake can reduce your blood pressure by 5 mmHg. Heavy alcohol use damages vital organs such as the liver and contributes a lot to heart disease. Alcohol also increases stress levels and contributes to impaired digestion and emotional problems.
Multiple studies have proven that smoking takes an enormous toll on your health. Aside from the lungs that suffer from smoking the most, the cardiovascular system is the second most affected. So one of the best things you can do for the health of your vessels and heart is quit smoking.
One of the most effective methods to normalize your blood pressure is by exercising. Three 30-minute workout sessions per week can reduce blood pressure levels by 10 mmHg. Exercising prevents pre-hypertension from developing into full-blown hypertension without taking any medication.
Lack of physical activities, on the other hand, leads to a cholesterol build-up in the blood vessels, which strains the heart. To cope with clogged arteries the heart needs to pump harder contributing to high blood pressure. Exercising regularly helps lower cholesterol levels in the body and ultimately prevents hypertension.
Exercises such as cycling, jogging, and swimming are great ways to strengthen your cardiovascular system and overall health.
The number one contributor to hypertension is eating food high in saturated fats. Junk foods have become popular and it has seriously increased obesity levels. Many people nowadays are looking for quick solutions and are not concerned with the long-term effects. Cholesterol builds up in the artery, narrowing the passage and thus impairing blood flow. The heart compensates by pumping harder and this leads to high blood pressure.
Eating healthy involves taking food with little or no saturated fats. Natural foods such as fruits and vegetables are ideal for reducing cholesterol levels.
High stress levels contribute to hypertension as well as other health complications. Unfortunately, our modern life is full of stress. But luckily, there are techniques to deal with stress. By using them, you can effectively manage stressful situations and alleviate their negative effects on your health in general and blood pressure in particular.