High Blood Pressure or Hypertension has become one of the common cardiovascular diseases found in large numbers in aged people. It can lead to serious problems like hardening of the heart arteries, stroke, heart failure, kidney failure and blindness. But with simple healthy lifestyles changes, high blood pressure can be managed efficiently and effectively. High blood pressure usually does not have any symptoms and is said to be a “silent killer”.
- Exercise Regularly
Physical exercise goes a long way in keeping you fit and healthy. Exercising for 30 minutes every day lowers blood pressure and also helps maintain your weight. Walking, Swimming, Jogging, Running are some of the activities you can engage in. It is also important to be consistent in this else your blood pressure might increase if you have high blood pressure.
- Follow DASH Diet
Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry etc. and fat-free foods, 1% dairy products. DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet includes high potassium foods and low sodium. Eating right helps in balancing your blood pressure.
- Less intake of sodium
Reducing the intake of sodium improves heart health and blood pressure. Use less salt and more spices to your food to enhance the taste. Avoid processed food that contains a lot of sodium. It is also good to check food labels while buying stuff from which we can opt for low sodium foods.
- Lose Weight
Losing Weight is considered very effective in lowering blood pressure to people who are obese and have high blood pressure. Even if you lose 1 kg weight, you will lower 1mm hg of blood pressure.
- Monitor your blood pressure regularly at home and visit the doctor timely
Home monitoring of blood pressure is essential to see if your diet plans and other efforts are working or not. We get a lot of machines to monitor BP at home these days. We can purchase it from any medical store. Also, visit or consult your doctor and tell him/her about the progress so that the doctor can prescribe or alter the medications accordingly.
- Take prescribed medications
Along with following the above mentioned lifestyle changes, it is important to take medicines as prescribed by the doctor. This helps to keep the blood pressure in control.
Don’t drink too much Alcohol
Alcohol should be consumed only in limits else it might trigger the level of blood pressure. Men can drink 2 glasses and women can take 1 glass for its positive effect.
Say No to Smoking & other forms of tobacco
The nicotine in tobacco causes your body to release adrenaline that stimulates your nervous system and forces your heart to work harder to circulate blood. This increases your heart rate and blood pressure—not just while you’re smoking, vaping, or chewing tobacco, but for some time afterwards as well. Nicotine can also interfere with certain blood pressure medications, thus it’s best to avoid all forms of tobacco for your overall well being.
Avoid taking Stress
Stress can increase the body’s production of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol which in turn raises blood pressure. While not all stress is bad for you, persistent and chronic stress can take a toll on your blood pressure and heart health. In addition to exercise and diet, there are lots of ways you can help combat stress and bring your body and mind back into balance. Adopt a relaxation practice like meditation or go for a run if that helps you clear your mind, most importantly get enough sleep.
Cut Back on Caffeine
Caffeine is said to increase blood pressure levels in some individuals but it may vary from person to person. A frequent consumer’s blood pressure may not be affected by caffeine whereas an occasional drinker might see an increased level of blood pressure.
So, be careful and watch how your body reacts to caffeine intake.
UNDERSTAND BLOOD PRESSURE READINGS
The top number on the device is systolic pressure which is the force exerted by the heart on the walls of arteries each time it beats and the bottom one is diastolic pressure which is the force exerted by the heart to the arteries in between beats. Both numbers are important in determining your heart health.
Reading of less than 120/80 mm Hg is considered normal blood pressure.
A systolic pressure between 120-129 and diastolic below 80 is elevated blood pressure.
A systolic pressure above 130 and diastolic above 80 is considered high blood pressure.
Ignoring your blood pressure level can lead to serious damage. Hence it is important to keep a track of your blood pressure level. Adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle and decrease the chances of high blood pressure.
In case of constant elevated blood pressure levels, be sure to visit your cardiologist.
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