Also known as high blood pressure, hypertension is the name given to the condition where the blood moves through the arteries more forcefully than normal. Normal blood pressure reading should be nearly 120/80 mm Hg. However, when the blood pressure rises, the blood moving forcefully puts extra pressure on arteries and blood vessels and causes damage. Hypertension is also called a ‘silent killer’ because there are no visible symptoms until some serious condition develops.
There are few things that you can do to naturally take care of this condition and prevent it from occurring.
1. Regular physical activity
Physical activity is important. For a healthy living, 30-60 minutes of exercising are deemed important. Exercising helps in lowering the blood pressure and uplifts your mood. Further, it is important for strength and balance, and also reduces your risk of suffering from other heart diseases and diabetes.
Consult your doctor and ask for a safe exercise routine and start working out. The important thing here is that you must ditch your sedentary lifestyle and get moving. According to AHA, muscle strengthening exercises two days per week is important.
2. Cut down on salt
This is very important. Sodium in salt can cause a rise in blood pressure. As per AHA recommendation, a little over a half teaspoon of salt i.e. between 1500 mg and 2300 mg per day is enough for the body. Anything above that is harmful.
Therefore, it is vital to bring down your salt intake. Avoid adding salt to your food and instead, make use of herbs and spices to add the flavor. Other than table salt, processed foods are also high in sodium. Whenever you purchase processed food, make sure you only buy products that have lower amounts of sodium.
3. Quit Smoking
Smoking is very dangerous for the people suffering from hypertension. Smoking temporarily raises the blood pressure of a person and it stays elevated for several after smoking. Those who are heavy smokers are at a higher risk of developing hypertension and suffering from heart attack and stroke. Even secondhand smoke is dangerous and can be a cause of hypertension and other cardiac issues.
4. Avoid Alcohol
Drinking excessive alcohol can cause a number of health issues including hypertension. Also, it is known that alcohol reduces the effectiveness of some blood pressure medicines and therefore, increasing the risk of damage caused by high blood pressure.
It is suggested that you must drink, you must drink in moderation. According to AHA recommendation, men should not consume more than 2 alcoholic drinks per day while women shouldn’t consume more than one alcoholic drink per day. The measure one drink here is 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.
5. Eat Right
Eating right is the key. Following a proper diet that helps in managing hypertension can give you wonderful results and can reduce your blood pressure by 10 mm Hg. Known as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, it consists of the following:
Including more whole grains, vegetables, and fruits in your diet.
Eating lean meat, fish, and nuts.
Cutting on desserts and sweetened drinks.
Eating low-fat dairy products.
Eliminating processed foods, full-fat dairy products, fatty meats, and all those foods that contain saturated fats.
6. Lose Excess Weight
Excess weight can be a problem too. Losing just about 4.5 kgs can reduce your blood pressure. Further, not just your weight but your waistline also matters. The extra fat around the waist is called visceral fat. It can be a real problem as it surrounds various organs in the abdomen and can lead to serious health problems.
Waist measurement of men should be less than 40 inches and that of women should be less than 35 inches.
7. Let go of the Stress
In today’s world, almost everyone is under stress due to increasing demands. Nobody is able to relax. Stress can lead to high blood pressure temporarily. However, too much stress can keep your blood pressure elevated for longer periods of time.
Try to figure out the source of your stress and try to fix it there. You can also go for meditation and yoga to manage stress.