Blood pressure, as we all know, is the force at which blood is pumped from the heart to the arteries. So while on one side, this pressure depends on how much blood the heart is pumping, the other major factor that affects the pressure is how much resistance is there for the blood to flow into your arteries. Narrower the arteries, higher is the blood pressure.
Our blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury, and its unit of measurement is mm Hg. While an average blood pressure reading is less than 120/80 mm Hg, a pressure that’s 130/80 mm Hg is usually considered high.
High blood pressure, also known as, Hypertension, is a ‘serial killer,’ for it rarely shows any significant symptoms until it has caused severe damage to the heart.
But that doesn’t mean that it cannot be controlled or dealt with at an early stage. Lifestyle plays a significant role in managing high blood pressure. With a little bit of discipline and some due diligence, you can successfully maintain your blood pressure and also delay the need for high blood pressure medication to a great extent.
Here are some lifestyle amendments that can help maintain your blood pressure at optimum levels:
Regular exercise is one of the most natural and most effective ways to keep the blood pressure in check. Moderate to vigorously intense physical activity for 40-minutes, three to four times a week, can make the heart healthy and help it pump with less effort. If investing 40-minutes at a stretch looks tough, you can divide the time into three or four sessions of 10 to 15 minutes each spread across the entire day.
It can be as simple as:
- Taking the stairs
- Walking instead of driving
- Helping with the household chores
- Playing a sport
- Gardening etc.
Limit sodium intake
Even a small reduction in your sodium intake can do wonders in bringing down your blood pressure.
To reduce the sodium intake, here are some handy tips:
- Slow and steady – Nobody expects you to make a drastic cut in your sodium intake. Cut down salt gradually as this will help your palate adjust better over time
- Reduce consumption of processed foods – Naturally, only small amounts of sodium are present in foods. Most of the extra sodium is added during processing
- Replace salt- While you restrict your salt intake, use herbs to add some interesting flavors to your food
- Read the food labels – While shopping, be aware and pick up low-sodium alternatives of food and beverages
Avoid that stress
Effects of chronic stress can be massive on your overall heart health. Thus, it is imperative that you take some time off and find out the reasons that stress you out and try to limit and eliminate them. If you can’t remove them, at least attempt to cope with them better!
- Change your expectations – Remember! You can’t make everybody happy. Certain things cannot be controlled or changed, but your reaction on them definitely can
- Avoid stress triggers – Plan your day and schedules to avoid last minute surprises and strains. Stay away from stressful and negative people
- Practice thankfulness – Find pleasure in small things, a little bit of gratitude will go a long way in making your day and somebody else’s day better