Hypertension or high blood pressure is a long term medical condition in which an individual’s blood pressure is higher than the normal level. Blood pressure is the pressure applied by the blood against the walls of the arteries. You probably have hypertension, if your systolic blood pressure (the pressure when the heart pumps blood around the body) is over 140 mmHg and the diastolic blood pressure (the pressure when the heart relaxes and restores blood) is over 90 mmHg, over a number of weeks.
Hypertension usually has no symptoms and that the condition is often called “the silent killer.” It has no symptoms and over the time hypertension increases the risk of life-threatening problems such as stroke, heart attack and kidney failure. According to world health leaders, the number of people living with hypertension is estimated to be 1.56 billion worldwide by the year 2025.
So one should try every possible means to prevent “the silent killer” or hypertension. Cardiologists say there is no complete cure for hypertension, but with regular check-ups and lifestyle modification, we can keep hypertension at bay. Here are top seven tips to prevent hypertension.
You should follow a healthy diet which contains low fat, less salt, and lots of fruits and vegetables. Avoid food items with high trans fats such as bakery items, French fries, and potato chips. Studies have shown that consuming just one daily serving of whole grains may help prevent hypertension.
Try DASH (Dietary approach to stop hypertension) and it helps prevent hypertension. The special diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grain foods, no fat or low-fat milk and dairy products, beans and seeds, fish, poultry, and unsalted nuts.
2. Workout Regularly
Try aerobic exercise for around 45 minutes for at least five days a week.
3. Keep Your Weight in Check
Overweight or obesity is one of the major risk factors for hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. So maintain a healthy weight by regular workout and healthy diet. When the body mass index (BMI) is between 20 to 25, weight is considered healthy.
4. Stop Drinking
Excessive alcohol use can lead to hypertension. It is better to avoid alcohol. But if you can’t stop drinking at once, limit the consumption to one or two drinks per day.
5. Quit Smoking
Smoking kills (as the awareness campaign says) and it is a risk factor for many other diseases including hypertension. So, quit smoking and save your life. It should be stopped completely.
6. Control Stress
Stress is another important risk factor for hypertension. You should know how to control stress. You can consult a stress management expert for advice.
7. Regular Check-ups and Medicine
Keep this in mind that individuals with hypertension need to take medicines regularly, as instructed by the physician, without fail. Also, check with your physician regularly. Usually, the medications are started if your blood pressure readings stay at 140/90 mm Hg or above consistently despite lifestyle changes. Always stick to your doctor’s advice for the drug management.