Posted on Oct 30, 2007 | Comments 1
High blood pressure is a precursor to heart attack.
If blood pressure is not detected or controlled, it can lead to heart failure, kidney failure, premature death or stroke.
While high blood pressure is a serious health problem, there are things to prevent and control blood pressure.
Tips To Lower Blood Pressure:
Exercise to lower blood pressure:
Exercise helps to improve health in many ways, including reducing the risk of high blood pressure.
- Whether a person is having hypertension or not, regular exercise helps to prevent heart attack and stroke by preventing or lowering high blood pressure.
- Being overweight or obese is another high blood pressure cause. Becoming regularly active and reducing the calories can help to lose weight.
- Cholesterol levels increases with saturated fat. Due to the increase in cholesterol levels, arteries get narrowed and increases heart attack and stroke risk. LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol narrows the arteries and blocks them while HDL (high density lipoprotein) removes LDL cholesterol from arteries. Regular physical exercise increases the amount of HDL cholesterol in the body.
- Physical activity can reduce blood pressure within first ten weeks and also lowers systolic blood pressure.
- Physical activities like swimming, walking, jogging, and cycling helps in strengthening heart and lungs and helps to lower blood pressure.
- At least thirty minutes of exercise five days a week is helpful. 30 minutes of activity burns 150 to 180 calories and can make a big difference.
- Very much overweight persons with high blood pressure and breathing condition should avoid lifting weights and vigorous sports.
- Before starting any physical activity, checking the blood pressure is important to know that it is safe to be more active. Intense activity should not be preferred with blood pressure above 180 systolic and 110 diastolic.
- If other medical conditions like diabetes, heart diseases and breathing difficulties are present, doctor advice is needed before starting the physical activity.
Diet to lower blood pressure:
Bad eating habits can contribute to unhealthy blood pressure levels. According to the studies, healthy diet has a capability to lower blood pressure.
- Choose a diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables which help to lower blood pressure.
- Avoid foods that are high in saturated fats like fried, processed and oily foods.
- Salt and sodium can increase hypertension, so it is important to read the labels while purchasing packed foods.
- Avoid fast foods as they contain more sodium which increases the blood pressure.
- Include foods that are high in potassium as it works in combination with sodium for blood pressure regulation. Potassium works with sodium to maintain body’s water balance and increases the amount of sodium excreted from the body. Sources of potassium include fruits such as bananas, watermelon, cantaloupe, oranges, dried apricots and kiwi-fruit. Vegetables which contain potassium are spinach, potatoes and zucchini.
- Magnesium also works with potassium and sodium. It is essential for the production of ATP (adenosine phosphate), which is body’s primary energy producing molecule. It relaxes the blood vessels when blood vessels are constricted, not relaxed and when the heart works harder to pump the blood through the body causing high blood pressure. Sources of magnesium include grapefruit, figs, whole grains, nuts, almonds, seeds, lemons, yellow corn, apples and dark vegetables.
- Calcium and magnesium work together to help in good cardiovascular system. Two to three cups of low fat or fat free dairy products, soybeans, peanuts, dried beans, sunflower seeds, sardines and dark green leafy vegetables are included as they are high in calcium.
- Including omega 3 fatty acids in the diet promotes good blood circulation. Blood platelets are less likely to form with omega 3 fatty acids, which can cause heart attacks. Foods that contain omega 3 fatty acids are tuna fish, salmon and trout.
- Including garlic in the diet significantly lowers blood pressure. Garlic has blood thinning and purifying properties, therefore it becomes an important nutrient.
- Soluble fiber is one of the important diets that lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol. Foods that contain high soluble fiber are citrus fruits, oats, rice bran, beans, barley and peas.
Life style changes to lower blood pressure:
Healthy lifestyle is critical in lowering blood pressure levels.
Healthy lifestyle can go a long way towards reducing blood pressure and lowering the risk of heart disease.
- Smoking is one of the things that a person should stay away when trying to lower blood pressure. Smoking builds-up plague, which clogs the blood vessels that supply the heart with blood. Smoking cigarettes twenty per day doubles the risk of heart attack and increases the risk of stroke. Quit smoking for lowering blood pressure.
- Alcohol in excess increases the occurrence of high blood pressure. Alcohol in the blood stream covers the blood vessels and artery walls thereby increasing tension, which leads to high blood pressure. Stop drinking alcohol if blood pressure is rising up and feeling nausea.
- People who drink caffeine regularly have high blood pressure levels than those who do not drink. Caffeine has the ability to block the hormone adenosine from widening the arteries. Constricted arteries results in high blood pressure levels. Caffeine releases cortisol and adrenaline, which can also increase blood pressure. Therefore, reduce the intake of caffeine.
- High blood pressure is also caused by chronic dehydration. When body is low on water, it attempts to hold the water by resorting to vascular constriction throughout the body. Therefore, this arteries constriction causes hypertension because arteries must get smaller to avoid formation of air pockets. So, drink plenty of water to hydrate the body.
- Stress has an undesirable effect on blood pressure. Learning to relax helps in managing stress [stress relief techniques]. Stress counseling, massage, relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, aromatherapy are helpful in reducing stress.
- Blood pressure monitor regularly is necessary to control it. A person above forty years with heavy smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, high cholesterol levels and severe stress should have a regular check up of blood pressure.
Posted in: Special Features