There are many who equate high blood pressure with lifestyle and not without reason. Medically termed hypertension, HBP or high blood pressure is mostly an outcome of unhealthy lifestyle though this may not be the only reason for developing this condition, since there are scores of people who maintain a healthy lifestyle but are victims of high blood pressure.
Because of the rising instances of this condition worldwide, there have been enormous amount of research and development that have gone behind designing prescription drugs to control it. But like every drug that is meant to cure a disease condition, it also carries its due quota of side effects too. Thus, the issue of treating HBP is always linked with changing one’s lifestyle too, as it is known that with the improvement of lifestyle, the following can be expected:
- Prevention of worsening of the condition
- Significant reduction in drug consumption
- Overall improvement of health
- Complete turnaround of hypertension
- Restoration of normal blood pressure
Instances of high blood pressure or HBP are so rampant that today it is estimated that nearly 80 million Americans are its victims. The worst part about this alarming statistics is that several thousands do not even know that they are suffering from hypertension till it manifests itself as a heart attack, stroke etc. It is for this reason that HBP is often called a silent killer.
Unless you check your blood pressure regularly, you might never know that the disease is silently worsening your health. Though hypertension cannot kill anyone in the strictest sense of the word, as it is not a disease but high blood pressure can be a precursor to a fatal heart attack unless monitored correctly.This holds true for everyone who is over 35 years of age.
By making certain positive changes in the way you live and eat, you can always keep your blood pressure under check and prevent it from worsening further. So what are lifestyle factors that affect your blood pressure and how can you bring certain specific improvements so that your HBP remains under control?
- One of the first changes that doctors advise in terms of lifestyle improvement is to give a second look to your diet. Most of us are used to having foods rich in fat content that are most difficult to digest. Processed foods, rich in sodium are great contributors to hypertension. Thus obesity and hypertension nearly walk hand in hand as the fat content in their bodies play an important role in constricting blood flow through out the body as well to and from the heart, which is a precursor to a heart attack. Thus having more vegetables, fruits and fibrous foods are what the doctors ask you to have instead of red meat, oily food and over-salty foods.
- The other important change in lifestyle is to include physical exercise in the daily schedule. Sedentary lifestyle not only promotes high blood pressure but breeds a host of several other ailments. Spending 30 to 45 minutes a day doing physical exercises like walking, jogging, running, swimming may lower your blood pressure significantly. Lifestyle changes also include changing some old habits – walk a few blocks to office by learning to park your car at a distance, use the stairs in stead of the elevator, take a pet for a daily walk are some of the changes which you could include in your life.
- Drink alcohol in moderation. If you cannot give up alcohol completely, which is of course the best thing to do, you ought to reduce its intake considerably to make significant improvement in your hypertension state. ‘Excessive’ consumption of alcohol in the context of control of high blood pressure would refer to over two drinks per day. It is however best to give up alcohol completely, if your find your blood pressures shooting up or you feel nausea sometime during the day.
- While the world know how injurious smoking is to health, it can be a killer when you have symptoms of high blood pressure or you are already taking medication for control of hypertension. The reason for this is that the nicotine content of cigarettes can further constrict the blood vessels which can prove fatal when coupled with an already HBP state.