A large percentage of us are afflicted by hypertension, and it is a condition which calls for attention. Even while one has no symptom of hypertension, if one is ailing from the condition, it can lead to or aggravate secondary disorders, like heart attack and stroke. Some other health conditions which can be attributed to hypertension include aneurysms and kidney failure.
Nearly 3 in 10 Americans suffer from hypertension, but do not know about it. So it’s always recommendable to have your blood pressure checked, at least once every two years.
Many people take medications for hypertension, but one must try out some basic lifestyle changes that really work, and can help you go a long way in keeping a check on high blood pressure. Some of these ways include making sure that one eats healthy, keeping one’s weight at healthy levels, getting some regular exercise and limiting consumption of alcohol.
1. Go For A Healthier Diet
One could make a start by going for some very simple changes in one’s everyday diet. Since salt increases blood pressure, one must try and make sure that consumption of salt is in controlled limits. One must use less salt while cooking, and maybe reduce consumption of chips and fries.
Then, one must consume a diet that is low fat and is high on fibers. A diet high in fruits and vegetables also helps keep the blood pressure under check, because fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibers.
In particular, one must try and go for fruits and vegetables that are rich in potassium. One must ideally have 2000 – 4000 mg of potassium daily in his diet. Some of the foods high in potassium are potatoes, tomatoes, bananas, peas, kidney beans and honeydew melons.
2. Keep Alcohol Consumption In A Check
If one consumes alcohol, one must make sure that the consumption is within the recommendable limits, and this would greatly reduce chances of developing hypertension. Preferably, men must not have more than three to four units of alcohol a day, and women must not have more than two to three units a day. Another reason why it is recommendable to avoid alcohol is because alcohol is high in calories, so one could gain weight, and correspondingly, that could work towards increasing blood pressure.
3. Maintain A Healthy Weight
For keeping blood pressure under check or for avoiding hypertension altogether, one of the best ways to go about the same is to avoid being overweight and maintaining a healthy weight. When one is a little overweight, the heart is required to work harder, and that can increase your blood pressure.
But for a healthier heart, one does not need to lose a lot of weight; even a slight weight loss can work wonders for not just one’s cardiovascular heath, but also one’s everyday health and well being. This could start with something as simple as avoiding fizzy drinks and sodas, making sure you have a healthy breakfast everyday and replacing your favorite snack for something healthier.
4. Be Active And Get Some Regular Exercise
For regulating hypertension, regular exercise and some everyday activity are equally important. Regular workouts or just being active keeps the heart and blood vessels in a good condition, and so it allows one to keep a check on hypertension. Moreover, regular exercise also helps one lose weight, and the same can work very effectively for anyone who may be suffering from hypertension.
As a rule, adults must try and make sure that they get around 150 minutes of physical activity every week, and the workout should be of a moderate intensity, such as fast walking or cycling. If the workout makes you feel slightly out of breath, it is a more effective exercise, but one must check the feasibility for a strenuous workout for himself with a medical professional before taking up any intense activity.
5. Switchover To Decaffeinated Coffee
To reduce the risk of hypertension or any of the related disorders, one must try and make sure that he keeps his caffeine intake in check. Like if one likes to have four cups of coffee a day, it’s a great idea to reduce the intake or make a switchover to decaffeinated coffee.
6. Go For Green Tea, A Great Choice For An Improved Cardiovascular Health
Or as an alternative, one may choose to take up green tea, which works very effectively towards normalizing blood pressure. When one has green tea for three months, the blood pressure, both systolic and diastolic are reduced by a little more than 2 mmHg for anyone suffering from hypertension. This can reduce chances of occurrence of stroke by as much as 5%. And green tea also helps prevent hypotension. Medical professionals often recommend having 3-4 cups of green tea a day, for the numerous health benefits it offers.