Crossing into your late thirties and early forties and having a sedentary lifestyle? Then chances are that you have high blood pressure. But what exactly do we mean by ‘blood pressure’? Crossing into your late thirties and early forties and having a sedentary lifestyle? Then chances are that you have high blood pressure. But what exactly do we mean by ‘blood pressure’?
Blood pressure is the pressure exerted on the walls of the blood vessels by the blood flowing through them. This pressure is required for the proper circulation of the blood without which the blood cannot flow to all the areas of the body. But when the pressure increases, the blood exerts excess stress on the blood vessel walls. This leads to the release of clotting factors, thereby increasing the chances of forming blood clots that may lead to heart attacks and stroke. The heartening news is that you can easily control it with a few lifestyle changes.
Here are ten practical ways to control blood pressure that you can incorporate into your lifestyle:
- Lose that extra weight: Every person has a normal range of BMI within which they are considered to be healthy. But when the BMI increases, it indicates the rise in risk factors for getting the blood pressure. So if you want to control your blood pressure, the first thing that you should do is to lose that extra weight and get into a healthy range of BMI.
- Exercise regularly: You have to exercise regularly to maintain your blood pressure. The best practices to control blood pressure are cardio, regular running, swimming, walking, and occasional strength training.
- Eat right: You are what you eat! Keeping a close watch on what you eat is important. If your regular diets are filled with beverages, junk food and less of veggies, then you are in serious trouble. Start by taking stock of what you eat. Check some calories in each of them. Eat only those items that are necessary and sufficient. Cut down on uncontrolled snacking and beverages.
- Reduce salt intake: You are familiar with the chemistry behind salt intake and water retention, then you will know that salt intake leads to water retention due to the presence of sodium. This leads to high blood pressure. Therefore, to control blood pressure, you need to cut down on salt and salty products like processed foods.
- Cut down on alcohol: When you were younger, you must have gulped down alcohol every weekend. It is time to cut down on these unnecessary drinking habits. Research shows that the incidence of blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases are higher among men who drink.
- Sacrifice your cigarettes: The nicotine in tobacco leads to the hardening of the arteries, which in turn leads to increased blood pressure. So if there is any lifestyle change that you need to be very serious about, it is quitting smoking.
- Reduce intake of caffeine: If you are a regular office goer, then the chances of drinking lots of caffeine are high. Caffeine is a direct causative agent of elevated blood pressure. You can replace this with green tea, which is a far healthier alternative.
- Handle stress: If you have noticed how your body reacts when you get stressed, you will know that you feel that your blood boils when you are angry or stressed. Stress has a positive correlation with blood pressure. Of course, we can’t escape stress altogether, but we can certainly learn to manage stress. The best way to handle this is to practice how to remain cool in circumstances that you don’t have control of. Meditation and prayer are effective practices, that would help you handle stress better.
- Monitoring blood pressure: If you have been diagnosed with elevated blood pressure, you must check your blood pressure regularly. Keep a journal where you record your blood pressure daily.
- Reach out for help: The best way to handle blood pressure is to discuss with your family physician. There are pharmaceutical options to control blood pressure. But drugs alone don’t work – you will still need to make the lifestyle changes mentioned above. All the tips mentioned above to control blood pressure are very simple but extremely effective. You have to follow all of them regularly to get the best results and a healthy outcome.
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