High Blood Pressure (High BP) is often overlooked and unmanaged with a contemporary busy lifestyle that we all have. Often, you may not be aware of the symptoms you may experience on a day-to-day basis and their correlation to a high BP. Thankfully, research has indicated that certain lifestyle habits can be adopted to reduce your risk of a High BP. The team at 1300 Dr To Me – After Hours Home Doctor recommends adopting the 12 easy activities lifestyle habits below for not just a healthier lifestyle, but a healthier you.
1- Manage your Weight
The chances of high BP increase with weight gain. It can also result in sleep-apnea or disturbed sleep that can also cause further increase in BP. In such a situation, management of BP can be best done with the help of weight loss. Weight loss helps reduces blood pressure. 1 mmHg reduction in BP takes place with each kilogram reduction in weight. It is also suggested to reduce the weight around the waistline. Too many fats at the waistline also become the cause of increased BP. In general women whose waistline is more than 35 inches and men with waistline more than 40 inches ae at a higher risk of increased blood pressure.
2- Engage in Aerobic Exercise
Aerobics are helpful in reducing BP. These include jogging, tracking, swimming, walking and doing yoga. High-intensity training can also be taken at intervals. It will involve short bursts of fitness activity followed by relaxing periods or periods of lighter activity. Along with this, strength training can also help bring a reduction in BP
3- Engage in Regular Exercise
It is important to maintain a regular physical activity of 30 minutes a day for at least 5-6 days a week. Regular exercise can help bring down 5-8 mmHg of BP. It is important to maintain a good exercise routine for patients with a high BP so they can maintain their BP within the suitable limits of health.
4- Monitor Your Diet, Eat Healthy
Along with physical activity, healthy diet is also helpful in maintaining BP at safe levels. Vegetables, fruits, and diet that is low in fat are recommended. In addition to this, whole grains are also helpful. People with high blood pressure are advised to keep a food diary or a diet chart. It will monitor things such as how, when and what has been eaten.
5- Maintain Potassium Intake
BP can be maintained with the help of increased potassium in the body. As potassium reduces the effect of sodium on BP. Sodium is known to increase blood pressure when taken in more than recommended quantity and its effect is blocked by potassium. Main sources of potassium are fresh fruits and vegetables. Instead of supplements it is better to take a potassium-rich diet.
6- Processed Food Intake
In order to maintain BP it is important to avoid processed food. When buying tin foods, one should study food labels and try to stick to healthier food.
7- Reduce High Salt Intake
Sodium is the main culprit in food that increases BP and affect overall health of heart. A small reduction in sodium in diet can help bring 5-6 mmHg reduction in BP. Sodium should be limited to 1500 mg per day in adult diets who are more at risk of developing high BP. One interesting tip is to improve spices and herbs to improve the taste of the food and cut out sodium. Even a small reduction in regular sodium intake can help patients with high BP.
8- Eliminate Tobacco Smoking
Smoking immediately raises blood pressure and stopping it is mandatory to reduce the chances of increased BP. Reduction in smoking is required to help reduce the risk of heart disease and improvement in overall health. Hence it is widely established that people who do not smoke live longer and healthier life.
9- Reduce Caffeine Intake
Caffeine is known to cause a rise in blood pressure. It is said that caffeine can immediately raise 10mmhg of blood pressure. The effect is more pronounced in people who rarely take it. While on the other hand, people who regularly take caffeine might face only a little difference or even do not face any change in their BP. The effect of caffeine on BP is still debated and the pathway of this effect is not known but it is said that caffeine can increase BP to some extent. Patients of BP need to be vigilant about their caffeine intake. They should check their BP after 30 minutes of caffeine intake. If they find 5-10 mmHg increase in their BP they must be sensitive to caffeine. Such people shod remain vigilant about caffeine intake and must talk to their doctors.
10- Reduce Alcohol Intake
Increased alcohol intake is also bad for health. Reduction in alcohol intake can reduce BP by 4mmHg. Those who drink more than moderate quantity of alcohol face serious increase in their blood pressure. At the same time alcohol can also reduce the efficacy of medicines used for blood pressure reduction.
11- Reduce Stress Levels
A higher stress level contributes largely to blood pressure increase. The effect of stress on BP is usually neglected among people who have chronic depression. However people who face stress only occasionally see a rise in their BP. While at the same time individuals experiencing rise in BP after alcohol and smoking are also sensitive to stress and see increase in their BP with occasional tension. Such people should take some time to identify the stress factors in their lives. They should try to eliminate or reduce the element of stress in order to keep their BP in safer limits.
Coping with stress in a healthier way is also suggested if it is impossible to stay away from stressors. This might include lifestyle changes such as changing expectations and priorities. One needs to avoid doing too much. Conflicts and misunderstanding should also be avoided to stay away from stress. There can be many stress triggers such as driving in traffic during rush hours, using public transport and indulging in difficult tasks. These triggers should be avoided with lifestyle changes. Meditation is helpful for patients with BP. One needs to take time, breath deep and sit quite. Hobbies such as socializing and volunteering can also help.
Our After Hours Doctor Services
At 1300 Dr To Me After Hours Home Doctor, our after hours doctors often treat patients with urgent BP complications causing symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, light headedness, tachycardia, and weakness. If you are hypertensive and require ongoing treatment for BP, you should maintain your management and treatment as advised by your regular GP. In the event that you have an urgent need for medical assistance and your regular GP is not available, our after hours doctors can assist with an assessment, treatment and management of your condition.
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Disclaimer: 1300 Dr To Me provides free health information blogs for the community to increase awareness on health & medical topics. The information in this article is educative and does not constitute diagnosis. Please consult a doctor, or request an urgent after-hours home doctor visit should you or your family members need medical assistance. If you or your family member are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 000.