Learn To Prevent High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension, poses a serious and prolonged risk for the body and overall health. From an increased likelihood of heart attacks and disease to damaged arteries or an aneurysm, the effects of blood pressure are slow winding and develop over time, making the current need to reduce high blood pressure more necessary. The causes of increased blood pressure are varied and can be genetic; if you find you are most at risk, take the following precautions to help prevent high blood pressure.
Control Your Weight
Blood pressure often increases exponentially with weight gain, so staying in control of your waistline can help reduce blood pressure. In fact, weight loss is one of the most effective means to reduce blood pressure because it often incorporates two other positive factors: healthy eating and exercise. Males are advised to keep their waistline below 40 inches, while women are advised under to stay below 35.
As one of the more effective means to control weight, exercising regularly also helps lower blood pressure. Advice from the NHS recommends a minimum 30 minutes exercise per day. This does not have to be intensive, although you should also consider incorporating more vigorous exercise several times a week. If you find you are sedentary, it is imperative to take up a basic routine such as walking, running, swimming or cycling.
Healthy eating goes without saying; saturated fat and cholesterol can radically affect blood pressure. Maintain a healthy and nutrient rich diet of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits to help stop hypertension. More specifically, cutting salt and increasing potassium helps reduce blood pressure because salt raises sodium in the bloodstream which lessens the kidneys’ effectivity in removing water. Conversely, potassium balances the negative effects of salt. Potassium-rich foods—such as grapefruit, apricots, green vegetables, spinach, tomatoes, halibut, and peas—should be incorporated into your diet more regularly. As with healthy eating, food that is rich in the following nutrients can lessen blood pressure: potassium, calcium, magnesium and omega-3 oils (fish and flaxseed). It is best to get your nutrients from fresh food in a varied diet rather than from supplements. Each of these nutrients can be easily sourced in fresh fruit, vegetables, and plant proteins. In fact, in a Harvard health study, vegetarian diets have been found to prevent high blood pressure.
Reducing Alcohol Intake
Drinking too much markedly raises blood pressure as well as being calorific. Sticking to the UK units guidelines and taking several alcohol-free days, a week will help prevent problems with blood pressure. It is recommended that men drink no more than two alcoholic drinks a day and women only one. Abstaining will have an even more profound effect on blood pressure and is recommended for those with blood pressure that is already high.
With a litany of negative effects on one’s health, smoking also raises blood pressure and creates a greater risk of heart attacks. Smokers should consider quitting, and non-smokers should never start.
For all the aforementioned ways to prevent control blood pressure, stress can be the most difficult to control and the most damaging to your health. Besides raising blood pressure, stress can lead to depression and anxiety which have marked effects on the body. Finding a means to relax each day away from the stresses of life, particularly if this is through a social or physical activity like yoga, tai chi or group jogging, really helps to reduce the effects of stress. If you are struggling with stress, consider a stress management class.
This is a collaborative post