High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common condition that occurs when the blood puts too much pressure on the walls of the arteries as it passes through your body, causing damage over time. Identified as one of the leading causes of stroke, high blood pressure is also linked to an increased risk for diabetes, heart attacks, and various heart ailments.
Luckily, It can be prevented and controlled as long as one gives enough effort. The following are some lifestyle changes you can make to help your body fare better against high blood pressure.
1. Review and Modify Your Diet
Studies show that people who eat a lot of vegetables exhibit lower blood pressure than those who favor eating meat and other animal products. This is because fruits and vegetables are rich in potassium, which lowers blood pressure, while being low or absent in cholesterol, fat and sodium content, all three known factors in getting hypertension.
If you lessen your daily intake of meat and other animal products, it can quickly lower your blood’s thickness, giving your heart a more manageable task in pumping blood across your system. There is no need to go completely vegetarian, and you can add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. When you eat meat, try to be conscious of how much sodium and fat you are introducing to your body.
You can also try to maintain a record of your daily food intake, like a personal meal diary, so you can better observe and check what you eat and even plan correspondingly if you want to indulge on a specific date. Additionally, food diaries can help track your progress as you try to change and do better on your eating choices.
2. Monitor Your Blood Pressure Regularly
To better understand your blood pressure levels, you need to monitor your blood pressure regularly. This is easier to do nowadays due to the emergence of several portable blood pressure monitoring devices, allowing you to learn about your current blood pressure anywhere and any time of the day.
Having 24/7 access to your blood pressure can help you learn more about what causes it to rise and drop based on what you eat or do in your daily grind. There is a wide range of medical suppliers in Australia and other countries where you can buy blood pressure monitors online.
3. Improve Your Physical Health
Another great way to fight off high blood pressure is to increase your daily levels of physical activity. Aerobic activities are highly recommended since they usually engage different parts of your body, allowing your heart and blood vessels to participate in the exercise by making sure blood is pumped into the relevant areas.
By nature, aerobic exercises rely on rhythm, involve repetition, and use large muscle parts like the arms and legs – all good indicators that your blood circulation will be thoroughly active. You can start with basic aerobic activities like walking, running and jogging before moving on to more vigorous exercises such as cycling, swimming, and dancing.
Be careful in exercising, though, as there are also activities that can quickly raise your blood pressure. High-intensity workouts, like weight-lifting and sprinting, can place unwanted strain on your blood vessels by exerting too much pressure in very little time.
4. Manage Your Stress Levels
Stress in any form can instantly cause your blood pressure to rise. Do your best to stay away from stressful environments and situations as much as possible. When faced with an unavoidable conflict or similar event, learn to practice breathing exercises that can help normalize blood flow. This can be very helpful in times of anger when people tend to let their emotions run free and consequently their blood pressure spikes up.
If you feel that you are having difficulties with your stress management, always feel free to visit a doctor so you can get professional advice.
5. Control Your Smoking and Drinking Habits
If you can’t quit smoking or drinking alcohol, significantly lessening your tobacco and alcohol consumption can lead to better chances at preventing high blood pressure.
Alcohol, when consumed excessively, not only makes your blood pressure spike right up – it can also cause permanent damage to your brain, heart, and liver, among other complications.
The same goes with tobacco, as cigarettes and other tobacco-based products can also cause irreversible damage to your heart and lungs given prolonged exposure. Even secondhand tobacco smoke is known to be harmful to the body. Continued use of tobacco products have been known to increase the risk of stroke and lung cancer, too, so early termination of the product’s usage will significantly improve your health’s outlook.
High blood pressure, when left untreated and uncontrolled, can be very harmful and even lead to several critical conditions. Try to improve your lifestyle early on to prevent hypertension, and if you already have high blood pressure, you will need to put in twice the effort in taking care of yourself.