Are you at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure and you have no idea how. Let’s help you out. Here are 5 things you should know about high blood pressure risk
- There are some high blood pressure risks you cannot control. High blood pressure runs in families. If this is the case with your family, you are also at higher risk yourself. This means that you have to check your blood pressure regularly.
- There are some high blood pressure risks you can control! You can reduce your high blood pressure risk by improving your lifestyle habits. Eating a healthy diet that is low in sodium, getting regular exercise, quitting smoking, losing weight and reducing your intake of alcohol and caffeine will help.
- Salt is small, but it carries big blood pressure risks. Are you one of those who pick up the salt shaker even before you’ve tasted the food? Studies have shown that about 30% of all high blood pressure is caused by consuming too much salt! Thus, reducing your salt intake can help to reduce your blood pressure.
- Your blood pressure medication is not a magic pill. For it to work, you’ve got to co-operate! That means that, you must take your medication regularly. This requires self motivation since high blood pressure often causes no symptoms. You may feel fine and simply forget to take your medication. If you find it difficult to remember to take your medication or if you do not want to take it – for example, if you experience side effects – speak to your doctor .
- Reduce your risk generally by imbibing lifestyle modifications:
Be physically active for 30 to 60 minutes on most days of the week. Try walking, biking, swimming, dancing or any other physical activity that you enjoy. Remember that even a little bit of physical activity is better than no activity at all.
Eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products and other foods low in fat and salt. Avoid fast foods, canned foods or foods that are bought prepared, as well as any foods where you can see the fat in them.
If you drink more than two alcoholic drinks each day, drinking less will help to lower your blood pressure. A regular-sized bottle or can of beer or a regular-sized glass of wine are each equal to a single alcoholic drink.
Keeping your body weight within a healthy range also prevents high blood pressure. If you are overweight, losing about 10 lbs (5 kg) will lower your blood pressure, and reducing your weight to within a healthy range will lower your blood pressure even more.
It is important to stop smoking if you have high blood pressure. Smoking increases the risk of developing heart problems and other diseases. Ensuring that you live and work in places that are smoke-free is also important.
Here’s to a healthier you!