Two new studies have shown that when people under the age of 40 develop high blood pressure, their risk of early stroke and heart disease goes up significantly. Normal blood pressure is important for proper blood circulation to the body’s organs and tissues.
If left untreated, high blood pressure can damage important organs such as the brain, blood vessels, lungs, heart and kidneys. High blood pressure could also potentially lead to a stroke. This is why high blood pressure is known as the silent killer because you have no symptoms until you have some serious complications.
When we look at blood pressure, there are two numbers. The top number is called systolic which is the pressure on your arteries during maximal contraction of your heart and the bottom number is called diastolic which is the pressure on your arteries when your heart is completely relaxed.
It has been shown that having your blood pressure well controlled can reduce the risk of having a heart attack or a stroke by 30%. In this piece, we have listed lifestyle changes that you can make to lower your blood pressure naturally and they work exceptionally well to prevent you from getting a high blood pressure.
- Alcohol and Cigarettes.
The two bad habits that have been proven to increase your blood pressure are heavy alcohol consumption and smoking. When we say heavy alcohol consumption, that means that you’re drinking more than 14 units per week; and when we speak about smoking, we mean smoking in any amount. Hence, do not smoke and do not drink heavily if you don’t want high blood pressure.
The negative effects of smoking and drinking on blood pressure are well-known as both can have damaging repercussions on heart and blood pressure levels.
It is true that some alcoholic beverages, particularly red wine, has a good benefit on your cholesterol levels — but only if you drink in moderation. Excessive alcohol drinking can raise blood pressure over time, causes arrhythmia, and may lead to heart failure, making it difficult for the heart to pump blood effectively. As for those who have already been taking medication to cure high blood, drinking alcohol may block the medication’s effectiveness and worsen side effects.
Experts do not actually suggest to give up alcohol consumption altogether. In fact, what they recommend is drinking in moderation. Are you curious how much alcohol is too much? Experts suggest no more than one or two servings of alcoholic beverage per day. Provided below is a table showing the right amount of a single drink of alcohol you can take:
Wine: 4 ounces
Beer: 12 ounces
80-proof liquor: 1.5 ounces
100-proof liquor: 1 ounce
Everyone is probably aware by now that cigarette smoking is dangerous to health, particularly to the lungs. Recent studies have shown that smoking also has a significant effect on blood pressure.
Unlike alcohol consumption, smoking has no benefit as you inhale various chemicals that can impair cells, leading both to cancer and artery damage. The nicotine in cigarette smoke mainly causes the problem. It narrows the arteries and hardens their walls, raises high blood pressure and heart rate and causes the blood more likely to clot.
Smoking is certainly the worse as it stresses the heart and sets up the smoker for a heart attack or stroke. Smoking can also take a toll on your cholesterol levels that may cause a rise in triglycerides— the same type of blood fat that can develop as a result of excessive alcohol consumption.
In order to maintain normal blood pressure, it is best to drink moderately and quit smoking. It could save your life and the people around you as you also put them at risk as secondhand smokers when you smoke.
Reducing your intake to one teaspoon a day which is equivalent to 6 grams has been proven to lower your blood pressure.
Consuming too much salt may cause a slight reduction in the amount of blood reaching the heart, that eventually leads to sharp pains in the chest when being active. With this condition, your heart will not function properly, tending to raise the blood pressure beyond normal.
The best way to prevent a high blood pressure that potentially causes a heart attack or stroke is to stop the arteries from being damaged. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by keeping your blood pressure down by eating food containing less salt.
According to a report, people who sleep five hours or less a night are more exposed at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure. In addition to this, there’s also an increased risk of high blood pressure for those who sleep between five and six hours a night. In fact, a study of 3,000 adults has shown that those who slept fewer than six hours a night had double the risk of stroke or heart attack compared to others who slept up to eight hours, as lack of sleep exacerbates other health conditions, including high blood pressure.
The science behind this is that when your body lacks the right amount of sleep, the oxygen flowing through your body decreases, and as a result, your blood pressure level increases. In order to combat this consequence, it is advisable to get a minimum of 6 hours of sleep per night.
- Monitor Your Blood Pressure Regularly.
When it comes to maintaining our blood pressure at a normal rate, it is good to know that blood pressure monitoring devices are now available in the market. This device has been known for helping people in keeping a healthy life because it provides vital information about our body.
Blood Pressure Monitoring is commonly used as a device for the measurement of both diastolic and systolic pressure values. Several medical suppliers provide quality blood pressure monitors that help gather accurate data of your health status.
This is a smart device utilised both for home and clinical use in providing information on how hard the heart has to work to adequately supply the body with blood. Using blood pressure monitoring devices can help you to learn more about your blood pressure.
- Proper Diet and Regular Exercise.
Living a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise and a balanced diet can help you avoid developing hypertension.
Thirty minutes of moderate-intensity exercise for at least five days per week reduces body weight, and which can lower your blood pressure by about 5 to 8 mm Hg if you have high blood pressure. While exercising is one way to reduce the chance of getting hypertension, there is still a possibility to develop one if you do not stick on a healthy diet.
Experts recommend the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet in order to prevent hypertension. This diet includes meals rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy products can lower your risks of having high blood pressure. It also means avoiding saturated and trans fats.
When you make lifestyle changes that help reduce your blood pressure, your overall health reaps the benefit, too. Indeed, prevention is better than cure as it is always better to prevent getting high blood pressure than to take a pill once it’s already there.
Regularly monitoring your blood pressure has various advantages, one of which is it helps medical experts diagnose the disease at an early stage. It is likewise an accurate way to ensure that you’re leading a lifestyle proper for your health status.
Beyond the benefits of consistently following a balanced and healthy lifestyle, practising the tips provided in this piece not only extend your lifespan but also provides a sense of responsibility to look after yourself and your loved ones better.
Latest posts by Kelly Tate (see all)
- An American’s Crash Course on Yakitori Culture - February 27, 2019
- A Kitchen Design That Will Make You Love Cooking Again - February 26, 2019
- Healthy Tips for Family Eating - January 23, 2019