Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. It’s also understood as a condition that may be life-threatening for the common man.
About High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension is the increase of blood pressure in the arteries. In a human being the normal level for systolic blood pressure is 100-140mmHg and for diastolic, it is 60-90mmHg. Any higher than these levels, the condition is known as hypertension. High blood pressure directly increases the risk of coronary heart disease (a condition that leads to heart attack), stroke, kidney failure, etc.
Firstly, try keeping your cool. Check your blood pressure regularly. Of the people who have high blood pressure, 32% don’t even know they have it. Blood pressure tends to increase slightly with age, so it’s a good idea to have your doctor check it at least once a year.
Reduce your Sodium Intake
Too much sodium, usually found in table salt can aggravate blood pressure by causing your body to retain excessive fluids. These fluids can make it harder for your heart to pump effectively and can irritate blood vessels that are already sensitive. You may also resort to climbing stairs if you like salt in your meals. Climbing stairs releases the sodium in sweat, negating any ill effects of its excessive intake.
Limit Cholesterol and Fat Intake
Too much dietary cholesterol and saturated fats can cause plaque to build up on the inner walls of blood vessels, thereby causing unnecessary strain to the heart. Limit your daily cholesterol to no more than 100 mg per 1,000 calories of food. As far as possible avoid red meat and other cholesterol laden items. You can have some homemade fats in moderation, up to a teaspoon of homemade dairy fat, but no more. Most people in their attempts to lose weight, cut down on fats totally, leaving your joints devoid of the natural greasing that they provide.
Some Additional Tips
Regular exercise of any form, from walking to weight training, if done religiously helps in lowering blood pressure as well as raises the levels of the HDL cholesterol (the kind that carries artery-clogging cholesterol out of your blood). Another good way of lowering your cholesterol would be climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator.
The calf muscles are endowed with what is known as a second heart that releases good cholesterol, during workouts. Just make sure that you consult with your physician before you start an exercise program and don’t overdo it, especially in the beginning.
If you smoke, stop right now! Smoking raises your blood pressure and causes higher levels of bad cholesterol.
Take Your Medication
If your doctor prescribes medication, make sure you take it faithfully in addition to any dietary modifications and exercise program that was recommended. Too often, people take medication irregularly, with the belief that the symptoms have stopped and hence they are fit again.
* As far as possible, don’t avoid your morning walk. Taking walks in the early hours replenishes your body’s oxygen levels. If you want a healthy heart and live longer, get your walking shoes and march out immediately. The soles of our feet represent the various pressure points for the organs in our body. Walking ensures that all these points are stimulated from time to time.