Hypertension also known as high blood pressure is a long term medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated. High blood pressure usually does not cause symptoms. Long term blood pressure, however, is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure, atria fibrillation, peripheral vascular disease, vision loss, chronic kidney disease and dementia.
According to the America Heart Association and America College of Cardiology; blood pressure lower than 120/80 mm Hg is considered normal. Blood pressure that is 130/80 mm Hg or more is considered high. If your number is above normal but under 130/80, you fall into the category of elevated blood pressure. This means that you’re at risk of developing high blood pressure. Lifestyle plays an important role in reducing your high blood pressure. If you’re able to successfully control your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle, you might avoid, delay or reduce the need for medication.
1.Increase Activity and Exercise Regularly
Exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness. It is performed for various reason including growth and development, prevent aging, strengthening muscles and the cardiovascular system.
According to the American Heart Association, aerobic exercise is an important strategy for prevention and treatment of high blood pressure as there is a direct correlation between physical activity and cardiovascular mortality and physical inactivity is an independent risk factor for the development of coronary artery disease. Some examples of aerobic exercise you may try to do to lower blood pressure include; jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing.
2.Reduce Sodium in your Diet and Eat more Potassium
Salt works o your kidneys to make your body hold on to more water. The extra stored water raises your blood pressure and puts strain on your kidneys, arteries, heart and brain. The extra blood pressure caused by eating too much salt puts strain on the inside of your arteries and may damage arteries leading to the heart. A small reduction of sodium in your diet can improve your heart health and reduce blood pressure by about 5 to 6 mm Hg if you have high pressure.
3.Drink Less Alcohol
If you drink too much alcohol, this will raise your blood pressure overtime. Alcohol contains a lot of calories which can make you gain weight and as a result increase your blood pressure. According to a report by Alcohol Research UK; there is a clear association between alcohol consumption and blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure rose as weekly consumption rose, with an average increase of nearly 5 mm Hg in those drinking above 42 units/week. Individuals who consume alcohol heavily are advised to reduce their amount of alcohol consumption and would benefit from a reduction to between one and seven units/week.
Smoking through its basic ingredients nicotine and CO, increases oxidative stress and dysfunction associated with significantly high concentration of cholesterol which is a significant risk factor for the development of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Each cigarette you smoke increases your blood pressure for many minutes after you finish. Quitting smoking can reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your overall health.
5.Reduce your Stress
Stress is a feeling of strain and pressure. Studies have suggested that chronic exposure to stress may have an influence on increased blood pressure. Psychological stress (including stress at work and home) was associated with a greater risk of hypertension. Your body produces a surge of adrenaline when you’re in a stressful situation. These hormones temporally increase your blood pressure by causing your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to narrow. A study suggested that listening to music has also been shown to reduce systolic blood pressure.
6.Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Eating more fruit and vegetables has been proven to help lower blood pressure. Fruit and vegetable like guava, watermelon, avocado, etc are full of vitamins, minerals and fiber to help keep your body in good condition. They also contain potassium, which helps to balance out the negative effect of salt. This has a direct effect on your blood pressure and helping to lower it.
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