According to recent statistics, about 1 in every 4 adults in England have high blood pressure, with many people living undiagnosed with this serious condition. While high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) has no warning signs or symptoms, it can result in dangerous conditions, such as stroke and heart disease. The good news is that hypertension can be prevented. Early diagnosis and a healthy lifestyle can help in managing your blood pressure significantly. In this article, you will find tips on how you can maintain your blood pressure within a healthy range.
Eating a Healthy Diet
One of the easiest ways to manage and lower hypertension is healthy eating. An example of such a diet is the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH). The DASH diet focuses on lowering hypertension by taking foods that are rich in calcium, potassium, and magnesium, as well as those with low sodium content. Meals in this diet tend to include lean meats, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy products. You might also want to cut down on your intake of sugars and refined carbs.
Exercising has been proven to be an ideal way of preventing a wide range of diseases. With a regular exercise schedule, it is possible to lower your blood pressure and maintain a healthy weight. Try exercise activities of moderate intensity for up to 2.5 hours in a week or 1.25 hours of vigorous aerobics per week. Examples of such activities include dancing, swimming, cycling, jogging, or walking. It is essential that you consult your doctor to establish an exercise plan that is best suited for you.
If your blood pressure is dangerously high, your doctor may prescribe some medication. There are different types of medications for hypertension, including diuretics, alpha-blockers, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and calcium channel blockers. Whichever combination of medications your doctor prescribes, it is essential that you take them as instructed. This is the only way to improve your long-term outcome as far as controlling hypertension is concerned.
Reduce Your Stress
Stress can significantly contribute to hypertension. Although there is a need for more research to establish the impact of stress on blood pressure, reducing stress can go a long way in controlling hypertension. Find out what triggers you to get stressed and come up with ways to manage it. Examples of stress triggers may include family demands, work, school, finances, and other responsibilities. To reduce stress, you can consider taking yoga classes, listening to music, reading a book, and engaging in activities that will help you relax. You might also want to take a break from your regular routine to allow you to strategize on the issues that are overwhelming you. In case things get out of hand, do not hesitate to see a psychiatrist.
For smokers, quitting smoking is highly recommended as one of the ways of controlling hypertension. Tobacco contains chemicals that increase your blood pressure and put you at risk of heart disease. These chemicals cause inflammation, narrowing of arteries, and damaging of blood vessels, increasing the chances of chronic hypertension.
Control Your Alcohol Intake
When alcohol is consumed out of moderation, it can lead to severe health risks, including hypertension. Excessive alcohol consumption may also lower the effectiveness of medications, especially for those under prescriptions. A moderate intake of alcohol means around seven glasses of wine, six pints of beer, or 14 units of alcohol every week. Beyond these levels, you would be placing yourself at risk of increasing your blood pressure.
It is possible to bring your blood pressure to a normal range if you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Ensure that you consult your doctor to settle on a suitable diet, exercise plan, and medical prescription for your condition. If you need support to follow these recommendations, you might want to involve people who will give you mental and emotional help. These can be relatives, friends, spouses, or even a support group.