How to Effectively Manage High Blood Pressure: 6 Tips
High blood pressure is one of the scariest conditions that one can have. When you or your loved ones have been diagnosed with it, it can be devastating. It is one of those conditions that send a cold chill down your spine when you think about it.
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is among the top causes of premature death, claiming over 9 million lives each year. These numbers are scary. What makes the condition even deadlier is the fact that it has no warning signs. It is commonly dubbed as the “silent killer.”
Surprisingly, it is a common condition, and there are nearly a billion souls worldwide that can attest to this fact. In America, it is estimated to affect 1 out of 3 people.
Even though the numbers are scary, do not fret; there are proven ways of handling high blood pressure. Before we dive into these methods of handling high blood pressure, let’s look at the reasons to manage the condition.
Why Manage High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure, if uncontrolled, can lead to even more severe or life-threatening conditions. When you have hypertension, the workload of the kidneys and heart increases exponentially.
This leads to an increased risk of heart failure, heart attack, kidney disease, and stroke. It is also the most significant risk factor associated with stroke.
Now that we live in the COVID-19 era, you should even be more cautious not to contract the disease. If by any chance, you contract COVID-19, you can develop severe symptoms and even die from the infection.
Without further ado, let’s delve into some of the ways that you can manage hypertension.
- Maintain Healthy Weight
One of the things that you will hear in our era is the myriad of ways you can lose weight and look good. But the point here isn’t aesthetics, though it is a by-product of losing weight. What you need to do is know your BMI (body mass index).
Your BMI is calculated using your weight (in kilograms), then dividing it by your height (in meters) squared. Our doctor can help you with figuring out what your BMI is.
If it is greater than 27 and you have a waist measurement of 35 plus (for women) or 40 and above (for men), your blood pressure will skyrocket.
If you lose weight and maintain a BMI lower than 27, you will be on the right track.
- Exercise Regularly
We cannot emphasize this enough. Our lifestyle these days is relatively sedentary as compared to the previous generations. Exercise is not punishment, though it requires some effort, is one of the best things you can do to lower your blood pressure.
If you can work out for at least 30 minutes a day for at least four days a week, you can be on your merry way to health. It should be safe, which means you have to talk to our doctor before you start exercising.
Try to focus more on aerobic exercises that aid in fat burning.
- You Are What You Eat
Food is vital in lowering high blood pressure. You can follow DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan that focuses on eating foods rich in:
- Low-fat dairy products
Salt (sodium) is not your friend; neither is food rich in sugar, cholesterol, and saturated fat. It is also best to avoid processed foods since most of them are copious amounts of salt and sugar.
- Stop Smoking
Generally, if you stop smoking, your body will be grateful. However, when it comes to blood pressure, the long-term effects of smoking can lead to damaged blood vessel walls that can narrow your blood vessels. This increases your blood pressure.
If ever you needed a reason to quit smoking, this is a valid one.
- Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
Alcohol increases your blood pressure, which means that you should limit your alcohol intake to at least two bottles of beer a day. It is even better if you can avoid it altogether. Just to be clear, any amount of alcohol can increase your blood pressure, so talk to our physician in Chicago, IL, before you take one or two for the road.
- Learn to Manage Stress
You cannot wholly eradicate stress from your life. But you can find healthy ways to manage it. When you are perpetually under stress, your body is constantly on flight or fight mode. Your blood pressure will inevitably increase.
You can try yoga, listen to soothing music, work less, or engage in any activity that reduces your stress levels.
High blood pressure is deadly but manageable, and countless people have found ways of living with the condition and even keeping their pressure in check.
You can call our doctor Dr. Denny Lau, at Lau Medical, to schedule an appointment if you have any more questions or need help with managing high blood pressure.