If you have high blood pressure, it may be worrisome as it may be a trigger for many other health problems such as stroke or heart attack. Medication is an obvious way to treat high blood pressure but there are many lifestyle changes as well that may help you keep it under control.
What is Blood Pressure?
The force in which body pumps the blood from the heart into the arteries is called blood pressure.
Blood pressure measurements are done in millimeters mercury or mmHg.
The accepted normal reading for blood pressure is below or up to 120/80mmHg. Any reading higher than this number is considered hypertension.
The first number is the Systolic blood pressure which is the pressure generated in the blood vessels upon heart beating.
Number second is the Diastolic blood pressure that is the pressure formed in the blood vessels in between heat beats or when the heart is at rest.
High blood pressure happens when the force of blood towards the walls of the artery becomes too high. If the arteries are too narrow to sustain the blood flow, high blood reassure builds up.
Risk factors for high blood pressure
Although high blood pressure can affect anyone, the following are the most common causes to get affected:
- If hypertension is there in the family history.
- Unhealthy eating habits including excessive salt intake.
- Excess alcohol consumption.
- A sedentary lifestyle with no physical activity.
Ways to keep blood pressure under control
You can follow many methods and lifestyle changes by which your blood pressure can stay within limits without medication.
Lose the extra weight
Being obese is a silent killer. It brings with it many health issues including high blood pressure. If you are overweight, your sleep pattern gets disrupted that causes an increase in blood pressure.
The most effective technique to keep your blood pressure low is weight loss through diet and exercise. Losing even a few kilos will bring about a significant reduction in blood pressure.
Along with weight, you must watch your waistline as well as extra weight in your waist contributes to high pressure. Men must have a waistline less than 40 inches and women must have a waistline less than 35 inches.
Do regular exercise
It is important to keep some physical activity as a part of the daily routine. 20 to 30 minutes of walking, jogging or aerobics 3-4 times a week is sufficient to keep the blood pressure in check.
Regular exercise helps blood pressure not to escalate to hypertension or bring down the numbers if you already have hypertension.
Strength and physical training sessions with a trainer can help lower blood pressure as well.
Follow a healthy diet
Adopt a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Note down what you eat for a week and follow it diligently. Read labels for ingredients before you buy any item.
Avoid processed and canned food. Increase the intake of potassium in your diet as it counters the effects of sodium.
Reduce and keep low the salt in your diet
The only way to reduce sodium in your daily diet is to measure and add salt to your food. Even a minor reduction in the sodium level will have an impact on reducing the blood pressure levels.
Although the allowed sodium intake varies from person to person, the normally allowed quantity is not more than 2300 mg each day. The ideal number is 1500 mg of salt each day or lower if possible.
You may opt for low sodium alternate foods, avoid processed foods, and limit salt to one spoon a day.
Avoid or limit alcohol consumption
Alcohol, if necessary must be taken in moderation. This helps in keeping the blood pressure levels down.
If alcohol consumption is above admissible limits, the effects of blood pressure medicine too will weaken.
Smoking directly affects your blood pressure levels as each cigarette increases your blood pressure immediately. Quitting smoking keeps your pressure in check, helps prevent heart ailments, and contributes to overall good health.
Stress too contributes directly to high blood pressure. Once you figure out what is causing you stress, you must find ways to avoid it. You can minimize stress on life by lowering your expectations, be content, make time for activities and hobbies you enjoy.
Mediation and yoga also help in keeping stress levels down and maintaining calmness in any situation.
If the lifestyle changes and diet don’t work at reducing your blood pressure, talk to your doctor about taking medicines like Telma 40 to control it. You must not ignore hypertension as it could be fatal.
Monitor your Blood Pressure
You must continuously monitor your blood pressure either at home or at a clinic to see the trend. You can check if your lifestyle changes are helping to keep the numbers in check. Talk to your doctor if you notice any alarming increase in your blood pressure levels.