How to Avoid High Blood Pressure

How to Avoid High Blood Pressure

How to Avoid High Blood Pressure is an article that everyone should read. High blood pressure is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease.

You can have high blood pressure (hypertension) for years without any symptoms. Even without symptoms, damage to blood vessels and your heart continues and can be detected. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can significantly increase your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke.

You don’t have to embark on a major life overhaul to make a difference in your blood pressure. Here are six simple tips for actions you can take to help keep your blood pressure back into the normal range.

How to Avoid High Blood Pressure

1. Lose a Little Weight 

By far the most effective means of reducing elevated blood pressure is to lose weight.  And it doesn’t require major weight loss to make a difference. Even losing as little as 10 kilograms can lower your blood pressure.

How to Avoid High Blood Pressure

2. Read Food Labels 

Many of us eat far too much dietary sodium, up to three times the recommended total amount, which is 1,500 milligrams (mg) daily for individuals with high blood pressure. It doesn’t take much sodium to reach that 1,500-mg daily cap — just 3/4 of a teaspoon of salt. 

Weed out high-sodium foods by reading labels carefully. Beware in particular of what is sometimes referred to the “salty six,” common foods where high amounts of sodium may be lurking:

  •     Breads and rolls
  •     Cured meats
  •     Pizza
  •     Prepared poultry
  •     Canned soup
  •     Fast food sandwiches.

How to Avoid High Blood Pressure

3. Get – and Keep – Moving

Exercise is great for reducing high blood pressure

It doesn’t take much exercise to make a difference in your health. Aim for a half-hour at least five days a week. But make sure you’re doing something you love, or you won’t stick at it. For some that means dancing; for others, biking or taking brisk walks with the dog. Even everyday activities such as gardening can help.

How to Avoid High Blood Pressure

4. Start Pumping Iron

Add some weightlifting to your exercise regimen to help lose weight and stay fit. We lose muscle mass steadily as we age, and weightlifting is an often-overlooked part of an exercise plan for most older people.  

If you don’t want to invest a lot in weight training equipment, try picking up a kettlebell. These are very affordable and for some people offer a more effective workout than traditional barbells. Head to YouTube and you can find lots of great free routines to get you started and there are some excellent smartphone apps too. 

How to Avoid High Blood Pressure

5. Limit Your Alcohol Intake 

Drinking too much, too often, can increase your blood pressure, so practice moderation. How much is too much? 

Data says we drink a lot in South Africa. According to the WHO’s data, South Africa’s drinking population consumers 28.9 litres of pure alcohol – per capita – a year, the fifth highest consumption rate in the world, below Namibia (31.3 litres), Eswatini (32.7 litres), Cook Islands (32.9 litres) and Tunisia (33.4 litres).

That’s not good. Ideally you should cut it out altogether, but at the very least limit yourself to a small glass of wine in the evening, preferably red, as red wine has been shown to have some limited health benefits when consumed in moderation. 

How to Avoid High Blood Pressure

6. Make a Serious Effort to Reduce Stress 

High Blood pressure is often cased by stress, a silent killer

Stress hormones constrict your blood vessels and can lead to temporary spikes in blood pressure. In addition, over time, stress can trigger unhealthy habits that put your cardiovascular health at risk. These might include overeating, poor sleep, and misusing drugs and alcohol. Or, right now, just living in 2020 in general. 

For all these reasons, reducing stress should be a priority if you’re looking to regulate your blood pressure. Yoga and deep breathing help, but so do simple things like reading a funny book or watching a humorous movie, and taking a social media break can help too, especially in 2020, as you just don’t need the stress that seems to bring to so many these days. 

High Blood pressure is a silent killer, you may not know that you even have it. Here I speak from experience, at a family gathering which may not be the best place, a blood pressure machine was produced and each one of us took our blood pressure. Mine was the highest at 160/87 and everyone looked at me as though surprised I was still alive. I am not overweight and I do eat healthily, however during the pandemic I have not exercised. Added to this I have had an extremely stressful job, that I hate with every cell of my body.

This worried me, the next morning I took my blood pressure again to find it had crept to 180/90. Now it was time for the Doctor before exploding. I am now on Blood pressure pills and my blood pressure is reducing. I have also upped my exercise level, given up alcohol, and cut out any bad foods.

I feel so much better now however I realise now that my body is saying no to my work. I must find an alternative and there is no choice. So please take care of your health today, it really is very important.

Speak to us at FastPulse about our teams of Nurses who provide wellness clinics to companies ensuring the health of all within your organisation.

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