Hypertension is commonly known as high blood pressure. It affects one-third of all adults and less than half of people who have high blood pressure are under control. It is also known as the ‘Silent Killer’. Because it has no symptoms, it can lead to major problems like heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, or aneurysm formation.
In medicine, blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury, abbreviated as mm Hg. If you have high blood pressure you will have to take the medicine necessary to control it. Lifestyle also plays a significant role in treating high blood pressure. You can control your high blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle that may prevent, delay or reduce the need for medication.
The following tips will help you reduce your blood pressure:
Regular physical exercise improves your health.
Blood pressure increases with an increase in weight. More weight can cause breathing problems while sleeping. It increases your blood pressure. Weight loss is one of the most effective ways to control blood pressure. Physical activities and regular exercise help you to maintain proper health. It manages your weight, improves your heart and reduces your stress level, and controls your blood pressure. You are advised to do at least 150 minutes of exercise every week. You can do any kind of aerobic activity such as walking, jogging, or dancing. It has a positive effect on the heart and maintains your weight.
Reduce the amount of salt.
Most people eat too much salt without knowing it. It is recommended to consume 2,300 mg or less than 1,500 mg per day in the case of high blood pressure.
- Consume low-salt and sodium foods and beverages.
- Reduce processed, prepackaged, and restaurant foods.
- Do not add extra salt to any kind of spice or food.
Take a healthy diet.
If you want to control your blood pressure you should reduce the amount of sodium in your diet and increase the amount of potassium in your diet. It is necessary to consume foods that are low in fat. Take plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It is better to make a diet plan that contains low amounts of sodium to control your blood pressure.
Reduce alcohol consumption.
Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure and increase the risk of other chronic diseases. Moderate consumption of alcohol for females is one drink per day and for males is two drinks per day. Limiting the intake of alcohol may reduce your high blood pressure.
Smoking is one of the strongest risk factors for lung and heart disease. The use of cigarettes can temporarily increase your blood pressure. The use of tobacco will be restricted. The chemicals in tobacco can damage your blood vessels. If you are smoking and can’t stop. You should talk to your healthcare provider to take the best option for you to quit.
Stress is one of the key factors to increase your high blood pressure. If you are always stressed, your body constantly fights itself. On a physical level, your heart rate will be elevated and your blood vessels will be constricted. If you want to manage stress and improve your blood pressure and physical health. You can use stress management methods which include exercising, listening to music, focusing on something peaceful and silent, and doing breathing exercises.
Increase your intake of potassium-rich foods.
Potassium is one of the most significant minerals that help your body to lower sodium intake and reduce the pressure on the blood vessels. To maintain a balance between potassium and sodium in your diet. You should make a diet plan such as reducing the intake of processed foods and taking more fresh fruits and whole grains.
Some of the foods that are rich in potassium are:
- Vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.
- Fruits include melons, bananas, avocados, oranges, and apricots.
- Dairy products such as milk and yogurt.
- Tuna and salmon.
- Nuts and seeds.
Take enough sleep.
Poor sleep habits mean less than six hours every night for many weeks. It can lead to hypertension. Many factors can create obstacles in your sleep such as sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and general sleepiness (insomnia).
If you have any kind of trouble sleeping. You should follow some simple steps to get more sleep:
- Make and follow a simple sleep routine – Your sleeping and waking time will be the same every day. The weeknight and weekend times should be the same.
- Make a comfortable space – It means you should keep your sleeping space cool, silent, and dark. Do some comfortable activities before sleep. It includes a warm bath or some relaxation activities. Keep away from bright lights like televisions, computers, and mobile phones.
- Make a plan for your eating habits before bedtime – You should not go to bed on an empty stomach. Before going to bed, avoid eating heavy meals. Do not use caffeine, alcohol, or smoke before bedtime.
Monitor your blood pressure at home and get regular checkups.
Home blood pressure monitors are mostly available by prescription. Regularly checking your blood pressure at home can be done with the help of a blood pressure machine. You can take medications and change your lifestyle according to them. If, however, your blood pressure remains high, low, or unchanged. If you have any doubts, you can also visit your healthcare provider to check.
Meditation and breathing exercises.
This type of technique is also used to reduce stress. Both meditation and breathing exercises activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This system helps to reduce your heart rate, helps you relax, and lowers your blood pressure.
Deep breathing techniques are very effective at lowering high blood pressure. You can do it twice daily for 4 weeks to reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
High blood pressure is also referred to as hypertension. It can develop in any age group. It mostly affects older people. It can lead to several health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney problems. It cannot be cured. You can manage it by taking your medication on time and changing your diet and lifestyle. Reduce weight, add potassium-rich foods to your diet, do regular exercise, limit the use of alcohol and caffeine, avoid smoking and monitor your blood pressure regularly. All of these steps prevent you from further health problems.
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What are the risk factors for high blood pressure?
Some of the top risk factors for high blood pressure include:
- Being overweight.
- Too much use of salt in your diet.
- Low potassium intake.
- Not doing regular exercise.
- Taking too much alcohol.
- Excessive stress.
- Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs).
- Cough and cold medications.
- Some chronic conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, and apnea.
- Low vitamin D diet.
Who is at risk of high blood pressure?
Anyone can develop high blood pressure but some of the most significant factors that increase the risk of high blood pressure include:
- Age – It increases with age.
- Weight – Being overweight can lead to high blood pressure.
- Sex – Before the age of 55, men are more likely to be affected, and after 55 women are more likely to be affected.
- Lifestyle – Some lifestyles can increase the risk of high blood pressure such as drinking alcohol, low potassium, lack of exercise, smoking, and eating too much food which contains more salt.
- Family history – A family history raises the risk of high blood pressure.