Itâs estimated that nearly 30 million people in the U.S. are affected by high blood pressure. This would make high blood pressure the third most common chronic ailment in the nation.
More importantly, high blood pressure is an excellent predictor for who will suffer from serious cardiovascular disease in the mid-sixties. Itâs time to take a few simple steps to keep it under control now before itâs too late.
13 Things To Help Keep Your Blood Pressure In Check
1. Keep an eye on your beltline. While a lot of people suffering from hypertensives are not obese, overweight people tend to have much more hypertension, up to three times as much in fact.
2. Put down the salt shaker. While it has never been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that salt directly contributes to high blood pressure, you may be one of people who are sensitive to sodium. It is recommended that you cut down on your salt intake by at least half or around 5 grams per day. If you must use seasonings, look for a healthy alternative.
3. Put down that glass of alcohol. Unlike salt, it is well documented that alcohol does have a negative effect towards hypertension. The good news is, as youâve probably heard before, one or two small glasses a day more than likely wonât hurt you and may even be beneficial to a degree, but anything beyond that is just asking for trouble.
4. Eat a banana. Increasing your Potassium intake may be a valuable tool in helping control your high blood pressure. Studies show that nearly 30% of of those tested show a decrease in blood pressure after two weeks while that number jumps to about 70% when tested over an eight week period. Doctors believe that a good balance of sodium and potassium may actually be more important than just an increase of potassium itself. Other natural foods containing potassium include potatoes, fresh and fish food.
5. Got Milk? More calcium may be just what the doctor ordered for you if you are one of those people who are sensitive to sodium. Calcium seems to have a favorable effect on those salt sensitive souls who account for about half of the total people affected with high blood pressure.
6. Quit watch and exercising more TV. Ok, so stopping the exercising and watching more TV may be an exageration, however, you may want to limit your exercising to those not involving isometrics such as lifting weights which can cause your blood pressure to shoot through the roof temporarily.
7. Enjoy a brisk walk. Since youâve now grudgingly put aside the heavy weight lifting as suggested above in #6, you want to exercise in a way which will force open your blood vessels subsequently allowing your blood pressure to come down. Start by walking a 1/4 mile briskly working your way up to 1 mile. Other excellent aerobic forms of exercise include riding a bicycle and swimming.
8. Your mom said to eat your vegetables. Itâs not known exactly why but vegetarians tend to have lower blood pressure. Itâs thought that this may also be the result of an overall healthier lifestyle as most vegetarians (on average) tend to not smoke, consume alcohol or overeat. Still, you should because it will make your mom happy.
9. How do you measure up? Why wait until you go to the doctor to find out how your blood pressure is. You can pick up a blood pressure kit and monitor yourself which will help you become more aware of your condition and encourage you to take the right actions as you can immediately see results, positive or negative.
10. Have a good laugh. Learn to let some things relax, go and try to change the way you look at things. A study at New York Hospital-Cornell Univ. Medical Center shows us that your emotions have a direct impact on your blood pressure in both a negative and positive way. So as the saying goes, âDonât worry, be happy! â.
11. Zip it up and just listen. While itâs probably obvious that arguing can drive your blood pressure sky high in a hurry, researchers believe that just the act of speaking alone can raise your blood pressure. When your blood pressure is elevated, take a little time to yourself, relax and focus on things that will not cause you stress.
12. Howâs your spouse? Funny enough, youâve probably seen pictures where an owner and their pet have similar facial features, even stranger is how after many years of marriage, two people become linked in ways that are almost unexplainable including comparable blood pressures. If yours is high, while much of that may be related to the two of you sharing many of the same stressful situations, etc.. it is a good idea to have your spouse get their blood pressure checked. Using many of the techniques above can actually work to benefit the two of your as you spend more time doing things together such as taking brisk walks even, together and swimming just avoiding some arguing and looking for happier thoughts to carry you through these periods of hypertension.
13. Adapt a pooch. Studies show that interacting with a pet can result in a decline of your blood pressure. While finding a cute puppy that resembles you is not mandatory, it may lend to a few good chuckles which we already know can also help.
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