Do you wonder how you can live a long and healthy life? Do you get more worried about illnesses and diseases as you get older? What should you do to avoid high blood pressure levels and heart or cardiovascular problems?
Your day-to-day routine, habits, and practices play a critical role in both your short-term and long-term health. These can influence your blood pressure levels, and increase your odds of developing a wide range of diseases that can majorly lower the quality of your life. You should give up bad habits now and make smarter and healthier lifestyle choices if you want to be disease-free for a long time.
What is high blood pressure?
High blood pressure is a prevalent health problem that occurs when the force of the blood that pushes against the artery walls reach higher than normal levels, causing heart attack, stroke, and other heart-related complications. Also known as hypertension, it can strike anyone — men and women, young and old.
Many cases of high blood pressure do not have visible signs and symptoms in the early stages. In fact, a lot of people do not manifest noticeable warning signs for several years. But, this does not mean that there is nothing going on at all. Inside the body, the high blood pressure silently damages the blood vessels and the heart, increasing your risk of many different kinds of serious diseases.
What are the risk factors connected to high blood pressure?
There are certain risk factors that can make you more likely to develop high blood pressure. Below are some examples:
Older people are more prone to having high blood pressure than young ones. According to research studies, high blood pressure is more prevalent in men until about the age of 64 years. In addition, women are more prone to developing it after the age of 65 years.
Having a family member who has/had high blood pressure increases your risk of the disease. If you have a parent, sibling, or other relatives with it, you should pay more attention to your blood pressure and do more to keep your levels within the normal range.
Various studies have found that high blood pressure is more common in those that have African heritage than others. The findings also show that people of African heritage are much more at risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease because of it.
Lack of physical activity
A sedentary lifestyle can increase your odds of developing high blood pressure. If you are inactive, you have a higher heart rate, forcing your heart to work harder with every contraction and raising the force of blood against your arteries.
Overweight or obesity
If you are carrying excess pounds in the body, more blood is needed to deliver oxygen and essential nutrients to your cells and tissues. This increase in the amount of blood being circulated in your body is typically accompanied by an increase in the pressure on the walls of your arteries.
How can I protect myself against high blood pressure?
Taking good care of your body is key to the prevention of high blood pressure. The following are examples of natural ways to keep your blood pressure levels normal:
Maintain a healthy weight
Are you aware that the more you weigh, the higher your risk of high blood pressure is? If you are overweight or obese, you have to start burning off those excess pounds now. The longer you wait, the closer you get to developing serious health complications that can harm and damage your vital organs. Getting down to your ideal weight will not only ward off high blood pressure and other heart-related diseases, it will also help boost your energy levels, strength and stamina, self-confidence, and mood.
Eat a nutritious diet
Did you know that foods that contain lots of oil and fat can increase your blood pressure? If you often eat at fast foods and order burgers, fries, and other greasy foods, you are feeding your body so much saturated fats and cholesterol that are hazardous to your heart health. Eventually, you will suffer from a heart attack or a stroke, as these fatty deposits in your arteries can impair your cardiovascular function. To avoid this unfortunate situation, you should alter your diet, and include more vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, and whole grains.
Get more physically active through regular exercise
Would you say that you live a sedentary lifestyle in which a significant portion of your day is spent just sitting and not moving so much? According to health professionals, increasing your level of physical activity can do a lot of wonders to your blood pressure and heart health. They say that dedicating even just 30 minutes of your day a few times a week to walking, running, cycling, dancing, or weight training can lower your blood pressure by about 5 mm Hg to 8mm Hg,
Reduce your alcohol consumption
Is it hard for you to say no to friends or coworkers who invite you to go out drinking almost every night? People who excessively drink alcohol are more likely to develop high blood pressure than those who can control their drinking. If you do not want to endanger your health, you should limit yourself to a maximum of two drinks per day (if you are a man) or one drink per day (if you are a woman). Drinking more than that will not only mess up your blood pressure levels, but also damage your liver, brain, and other organs.
Did you know that smoking can increase your risk of a long list of illnesses and diseases, including high blood pressure? Cigarettes and tobacco contain various compounds and substances that can be harmful to your heart and other important bodily organs and systems, making your more prone to developing serious health complications, such as stroke, heart attack, respiratory diseases, and cancer.
Monitor your blood pressure
How often should you check your blood pressure levels? Keeping track of your blood pressure is a great way to know if there is something wrong with your body. You can go to your doctor and have it checked there, or get yourself a home blood pressure monitor that you can use at home whenever you want.