Hypertension is when a person has blood pressure (BP) of over 140/90 mmHg. Risk factors and symptoms of hypertensions are as follows:
- Older age
- Family history / genetics
- Physical inactivity
- Unhealthy diet with high salt intake
- Drinking and/or smoking
- Preexisting health conditions, like diabetes
Signs and Symptoms:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Severe headache
- Nausea & vomiting
Here are some easy steps to manage your high blood pressure:
1. Reduce salt intake
Increased sodium levels in the body increase your BP. Switching to a low-sodium diet is the best way to keep your BP normal. Reduce your salt intake to less than 1 teaspoon a day. Say no to processed foods. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
2. DASH diet
Follow a DASH diet (or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), which includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables + 4-5 servings of nuts, seeds, and legumes. Eat a good amount of proteins in your diet, and strictly avoid any fat and sugar. Also, make sure you’re eating whole grains in the diet, such as brown bread and rice.
3. Exercise regularly
Regular physical activity decreases your high BP by nearly 5–8 mm Hg. Regular exercise is a very effective way to keep blood pressure in check. Every day, aim for at least 30 minutes of easy–moderate physical activity. Exercise also helps in improving your body’s efficiency, such as blood circulation, lung capacity and heart functions.
4. Regular health checkups
Keep your BP in check with a regular health checkup to manage hypertension. People mainly aim to keep BP at 140/90mmHg; however, that is not the case for everyone. Consult with your doctor and understand the right BP you need to maintain to lead a healthy life.
5. Avoid unnecessary stress
Don’t take too much stress. Let go of things that are not in your control and you will find many health issues disappearing. Also, avoid taking any stress-reducing medications, such as amino acids and phenylalanine.
6. Avoid unnecessary drugs
If your doctor asked you to take your BP medicines on time, take them exactly in that specific timeframe. Don’t skip your dosage. Some people take drugs to reduce their high BP without consulting doctors and medical professionals. However, taking medicines you are not completely aware of can cause another serious condition called hypotension. Hence, regular health checkups and doctor follow-ups are necessary.
7. Get adequate sleep
Enough sleep is important to manage hypertension. Research shows that if you get 7–8-hour sleep every night, you are at low risk of hypertension.
8. No smoking & No drinking
Alcohol and cigarettes are bad for your heart and blood vessels and increase your risk of hypertension. Normally, our soft healthy arteries stiffen or lose their elasticity with age. Regular smoking and drinking consumption speeds up the stiffening process. Stiffer arteries increase the risks of heart diseases.
Take Action Now
Risk factors, such as age and family history of heart disease, can’t be changed. But, we can always do something at every stage of life to reduce our risk of heart conditions like hypertension. The message is clear: regularly monitor your heart health, be more physically active and eat a healthy diet. These are important steps for your heart health and a long healthy life.