High blood pressure is just one of the symptoms of heart disease. Studies have shown that lowering your blood pressure (or keeping it lower, in the first place) may help individuals avoid serious long-term heart complications.
Here are nine suggestions on how to avoid high blood pressure.
1. Keep your weight within a healthy range
Maintaining a healthy weight will trim your waist down too. Experts claim that a large waist circumference can be a predictor of high blood pressure and heart disease.
Studies show that waist measurements of 102 cm or more for men, 88 cm or more for women, 90 cm or more for Asian men and 80 cm or more for Asian women, are linked to heart disease. Keep your weight and waist measurement down.
2.  Exercise regularly to maintain a healthy blood pressure
Doctors recommend 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day. Consult your health practitioner before starting any exercise plan.
3.  Maintain a healthy diet
Incorporate vegetables, fruits, whole grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, and cold-pressed oils into your daily diet. Keep a food diary to track what you eat. Doctors recommend eating foods rich in potassium to help lower blood pressure. Potassium helps to reduce the effects of salt on your body. Also, avoid consuming junk/fast food.
4.  Decrease the amount of salt you consume
Dieticians indicate that 1 500 – 2 400 mg of salt is all that you really need each day. One teaspoon of table salt is equal to 5 000 mg, which is equal to about 2 000 mg of sodium.
To reduce salt intake, read food labels closely, cut back drastically on processed foods, and use spices and herbs to season your food instead of salt. Be aware though, that a minority of people need to consume more salt, not less.
5.  Reduce your alcohol intake
Experts recommend a maximum of two standard alcoholic drinks per day for men and one standard drink per day for women. If you drink more than this, either reduce your alcohol consumption or substitute a non-alcoholic beverage for an alcoholic one.
6.  Stop the use of all tobacco products
The use of tobacco products impacts directly and negatively on heart health. It is also important that you avoid secondhand smoke.
7.  Limit your caffeine intake
Studies show that caffeine can cause instant blood pressure spikes. Drink no more than two cups (200 ml) of coffee per day.
8.  Make efforts to reduce or eliminate stress in your life
Stress is a major contributor to high blood pressure. If you’re unable to reduce your stress levels yourself, find help through yoga, self-help books, meditation, deep relaxation techniques, and/or mental health counselling.
9.  Nip problems in the bud
If your blood pressure is occasionally high, but not that way every time you see your health practitioner, you may still have a problem. Studies indicate that occasional high blood pressure can be a sign of a chronic problem at some future time. Discuss this with your health practitioner. By dealing with any problems now, you may be able to alleviate serious complications later.


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