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Lifestyle Changes That Can Manage High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, remains a significant health issue for many people globally. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), high blood pressure affects one in every three Americans, yet only half of this population of people with hypertension has the condition under control.

In the world, hypertension remains the leading cause of stroke, heart disease, and kidney disease. Generally, blood pressure changes in response to stress, physical activity, and other factors. However, it is essential to maintain an optimal blood pressure level to prevent health complications. Fortunately, making lifestyle changes can help manage high blood pressure and reduce the risk of health problems. This article outlines some of the lifestyle changes people can make to manage blood pressure.

1. Regular Exercise

Engaging in regular exercise, including anything from moderate to vigorous physical activity, can help lower blood pressure levels. Exercise helps reduce the amount of resistance in the blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more freely throughout the body. Consider taking up activities such as biking, dancing, swimming, or brisk walking. Aim for at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week or 30 minutes per day for at least five days a week. However, if you have not been active for a while, it is advisable to consult your doctor first before starting exercise.

2. Maintain Healthy Weight

High blood pressure is more common in overweight and obese individuals. Losing weight can help reduce blood pressure levels. Weight loss of approximately 5% of your body weight can positively impact blood pressure levels. Focus on a healthy diet that is low in processed and high-fat foods, fruits, and vegetables. Further, keep portion sizes small, and avoid consuming late-night meals.

3. Follow a Healthy Diet

Developing and maintaining a healthy diet can help prevent and reduce high blood pressure. This involves incorporating food rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, including whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins while limiting salt, red meat, and sugar intake. Experts suggest following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet as it is a proven method to lower blood pressure.

4. Limit Sodium Intake

Excessive salt intake increases blood pressure levels. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends consuming no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day or even less, especially for individuals with hypertension. When shopping for food, read labels carefully and opt for low-sodium foods. If you already suffer from high blood pressure, consider reducing your salt intake to 1,500 mg per day.

5. Leave Out Smoking

Smoking raises blood pressure and the risk of other heart-related health issues. Therefore, quitting smoking significantly reduces the risk of developing blood pressure problems. Quitting smoking is not easy, but there are several resources to help people quit. Speak to your healthcare provider, use nicotine patches, or join support groups to make this transition simpler.

6. Limit Alcohol Intake

Excessive alcohol consumption can increase blood pressure levels. Thus, it is essential to limit alcohol consumption to promote a healthy blood pressure range. The CDC recommends limiting alcohol intake to a maximum of two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. However, it is vital to note that alcohol intake recommendations vary depending on other factors like size, age, and history of alcohol abuse.

7. Reduce Stress

Stress is a common cause of increased blood pressure levels. Therefore, reducing stress is crucial in maintaining optimal blood pressure levels. Engage in stress-reducing activities, including yoga, meditation, deep breathing, or any relaxing activity you enjoy.

In conclusion, high blood pressure is a prevalent health issue among the global population, but it can be managed through lifestyle changes such as exercise, a healthy diet, limiting alcohol intake, and more. Maintaining optimal blood pressure levels protects individuals from the risk of heart, kidney, and respiratory diseases, and it is recommended to make changes to your lifestyle to avoid developing high blood pressure conditions. By following these healthy lifestyle tips, individuals can improve not only their blood pressure health but enhance overall wellness and health status.

Content created and supplied by: GroundShaker (via Opera News )

Americans CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


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