Hypertension is gaining popularity off-late and is an important medical and public condition. With the advancement in age, hypertension becomes even more prominent. 50% of the people in between 60-69 years of age, and 75% of the people over 70 years of age deal with hypertension. It can increase the risk of developing a cardiovascular disorder in various ways. As it can result in hardening and thickening of the arteries, leading to their narrowing and causing the heart to receive less blood supply. It can also cause a heart attack. High blood pressure creates a load on the heart and increases the amount of work that the heart has to do.
In order to deal with hypertension, follow the following do’s and don’ts.
- Eat right.
Eating right and more heart-friendly foods can help in reducing the risk of developing heart disease, heart attack, stroke, while also managing your blood pressure. Have a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains, cut out, or have low-fat dairy. Avoid the consumption of trans fats, saturated fats, refined foods, and high salt and sugar foods. Follow a DASH (Dietary approach to stop hypertension) eating pattern wherein, you have less sodium, high potassium and more fruits and vegetables.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
Targeting an optimal weight is crucial to avoid the risk of developing high blood pressure. Because if your weight increases, your blood pressure increases too. So, in order to lower your blood pressure, weight loss is important. Even little amounts of weight loss can also be beneficial. So, take steps to maintain optimum weight.
Being active physically will not only control your blood pressure but also will strengthen your heart and manage your stress levels. You can choose to go for a brisk walk for 30 minutes, or do some yoga, play an outdoor sport of your choice, bicycle, swim, or dance. This will also help in weight management.
- Quit tobacco.
While smoking has been a proven cause of increased blood pressure, it’s also important to note that every cigarette that you smoke increases your blood pressure for many minutes after you are done. In order to reduce your chances of having a stroke or a heart attack- every form of tobacco should be banished.
- Don’t drink.
Excessive consumption of alcohol can increase your blood pressure to an unhealthy level. If you have more than 3 drinks in one sitting, your blood pressure rises temporarily. But, binge drinking can definitely do more harm than you can fathom. If you deal with hypertension, drink in moderation.
- Don’t take the stress.
Your body produces a surge of hormones when you are stressed. These hormones temporarily increase your blood pressure, causing your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to narrow down. Hence, being stress-free to avoid hypertension, is your best bet. Try meditating and other calming techniques like aromatherapy when stressed.
- Avoid processed and packed.
Processed and packed foods are laden with sodium, trans fat, and sugar. They affect your heart, weight and overall health, hence, are best avoided. Include more home-cooked and fresh foods instead.
Over to you.
Hypertension can lead to a chronic condition if not treated with great emphasis. Try to take the above-mentioned tips into consideration while treating the problem and avoiding any future risks.