Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a condition marked by the increase in the pressure that blood exerts on the walls of the arteries. This not only leads to tissue damage, but also causes damages the heart.
The risks associated with hypertension are rather grave; from stroke, to heart disease to even death, it leads to many complications. Good news is, despite the high stakes, it is still possible to improve the symptoms of blood pressure by simple interventions and without even using medicines. Helpful tips include:
It is important to be physically active, always, but it is imperative for people suffering from hypertension to be especially diligent about their exercise routine.
Exercise helps in lowering the blood pressure by 5-8 units, and thus has an impact similar to that of medicine. However, if you are already taking medicine, do not leave it just because you have taken up exercise. Always consult the best internal medicine specialist in Islamabad before taking any such step.
Regular exercise essentially makes your heart stronger. It then is able to pump blood to the body without much effort, and thus prevents exertion of pressure on the arterial walls.
Any sort of physical exertion, provided it is done regularly, suffices. Low intensity exercises like walking, dancer, beginner’s yoga etc. are excellent for people who are daunted by the sight of gyms. For people who prefer challenges, HIIT, running etc. serve as excellent exercise programs.
However, if you do moderate work out, you will have to put in more activity hours as opposed to a more rigorous training.
Alongside working out, try being more physically active as well, especially those with sedentary jobs. Take the stairs every once in a while, walk shorter distances rather than taking out the car, be more active around the house.
Cut back on salt
Salt, or sodium in fact, has a great impact on your blood pressure. When the concentration of salt runs higher in the body, it retains fluid to normalize the impact of salt, thereby increasing the blood pressure.
Hence, by simply eating less salt, you can noticeably decrease the blood pressure. The recommended daily allowed salt intake is around 3/4th of a teaspoon for hypertensive people!
Reduce Stress levels
While you do not willingly take stress, but you can consciously decrease your stress levels.
Stress leads to the secretion of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, both of which then increase blood pressure. Chronic stress therefore wreaks havoc on the heart health.
Therefore, moderating stress levels is extremely important. Yoga and breathing exercises are very useful in this regard. Meditation is also helpful for calming the mind and the body.
Watch your weight
Obesity brings with itself a hoard of problems, including hypertension. It is thus very important to keep the BMI within the normal range. Weight loss journey should, however, be a sustainable one. Fad diets are never a good solution.
Moreover, those who are not obese but are very thick around the waistline, also need to lose weight. Known as visceral fat, it leads to health problems, including hypertension. Dropping just a few kilos can make a difference.
Moderate Caffeine intake
Caffeine causes increase in blood pressure. Even as little as one cup of coffee can cause the spike in blood pressure. Hypertensive patients should thus steer clear of coffees and teas. Instead, they should opt for the decaf versions of the beverages.
Similarly, power drinks should also be consumed sporadically and in case of some urgent matter only.
Cut back on the carbohydrates
Carbohydrates may give you the much-needed taste fix, but in the long run, refined carbohydrates are not good for the health. Causing problems like insulin sensitivity and weight gain, a diet rich in the ‘white’ carbohydrates also leads to hypertension.
It is therefore vital to eat whole grain meals instead. Cut back on the sugar, and perhaps save the refined carbohydrates for the rainy days only.
Reduce processed foods
Processed foods may be convenient at times, but they sneak in large quantities of salt into the diet. It is thus very effective to cut back on the processed foods. The bottled and canned foods like sauces also load up on the sodium, unbeknownst to many.
It is very necessary to get into the habit of reading food labels.
Limit alcohol intake
Excessive alcohol also causes hypertension. It is recommended to limit alcohol in-take to two drinks per day for men, and for a single drink for women.
Smoking brings no good and all harm to the body. Other than jeopardizing the health of all vital organs in the body, smoking also leads to high blood pressure. As it leads to plaque formations in the arteries, it then exacerbates the condition as well.
Therefore, make the executive decision of prioritizing your life, and quit smoking.
Secondhand smoke also leads to spike in blood pressure. Therefore, it is vital to be watchful of your environment as well.
The easiest way to get control your blood pressure is by eating dark chocolate. Eating a small square or two of dark chocolate also prevents the risk of heart disease as well. However, be sure to take chocolate with at least 60% cocoa.
Alongside taking these precautions, it is also very important to keep monitoring the blood pressure. In case anything goes awry, it you can consult the best internal medicine specialist in Lahore as timely treatment improves the prognosis significantly.