Hypertension – High Blood Pressure
Hypertension, High Blood Pressure, or alternatively known as the “silent killer” – yes, it’s that serious, seriously increases your risk of heart disease and strokes, and around 1 in 3 adults in America suffer from it, many without even knowing it (that’s why it’s called the silent killer). The good news is that, if you know that you suffer from high blood pressure there are treatments available to help you, but, as my old Granny always used to say, prevention is better than cure, and if you can prevent your chances of suffering from high blood pressure in the first place – bingo!
High Blood Pressure – What You Can Do
High blood pressure often doesn’t show any signs or symptoms, so it’s essential that you have a regular blood pressure check up, just to be on the safe side. Whether you do suffer from high blood pressure or not, there are a few simple steps which you can take to either help the situation to improve, or reduce your risk of suffering with high blood pressure in the future.
- Diet – it has been shown, again and again, that by eating a healthy diet you can significantly reduce your blood pressure and help to keep it down. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables provides essential nutrients like potassium as well as fiber, and you should only include foods which are low in cholesterol and saturated fat. (I bet you think I’ve got shares in a fruit and veg company don’t you – well, you’re wrong, I did try to grow a few tomatoes last year but they died, and the dog ate my radishes . . . ) Don’t include lots of sodium (salt) in your diet, limit the amount of salt which you add to your food while cooking or seasoning, and remember that many restaurant meals and processed foods have a high sodium content.
- Weight – this really does follow on from diet, but if your body has to carry around lots of extra pounds in weight every single day, just think about what a strain it will put onto your heart and blood pressure. If you are a little (or a lot) overweight, you will find a big difference in your blood pressure just by losing a few pounds and maintaining a healthy weight for your age and build – it’s pretty simple to calculate your body mass index (BMI), all you need to know is your weight, your height and then find one of those instant calculators online and it will do the rest for you.
- Smoking - is known to cause all sorts of damage, not least to your blood vessels and arteries and is really bad for you in all sorts of ways. If you don’t smoke, don’t start, if you do smoke, STOP – your doctor will advise you with helpful programs for you to quit.
- Exercise – is vital to help moderate your blood pressure – you don’t have to go mad, but around 30 minutes of moderate physical activity 5 or 6 days a week can really help – take the dog for walk, take somebody elses dog for a walk, take up dancing, swimming or table tennis – anything really, just MOVE to help you to keep your high blood pressure under control.
- Alcohol – should be taken only in moderation, if you drink too much this really can cause you to suffer from high blood pressure, just a couple of drinks per day, maximum, is all that is allowed, and that doesn’t mean that you can go out and buy yourself an extra large glass!