Here’s what you can do to thwart hypertension or high blood pressure…
SLEEP 7 HOURS: People who sleep five hours or less a night may be at higher risk of developing high blood pressure. Over time, lack of sleep could hurt your body’s ability to regulate stress hormones, leading to high blood pressure. It’s not just how much you sleep, but the quality of your nightly slumber that can affect your risk for high BP.Researchers say that people with less deep sleep are more likely to have sleep apnea and tend to sleep less on the whole. Even your age can have an effect. Deep sleep declines as you get older. So try and sleep more!
EAT LESS SALT: Salt makes your body retain water. If you eat too much, the extra water stored in your body raises your blood pressure. This can be a particular problem if you have high BP already. If you are overweight, a high intake of salt increases your risk of cardiovascular disease. Also, eating too much salt may mean that blood pressure medicines, such as diuretics, don’t work as well. Abstain from processed meats and fish high on salt. Also steer clear of table salt when you sit down to eat your meals.
EXERCISE AT LEAST 150 MIN A WEEK: For adults, the Department of Health and Human Services suggests some exercise guidelines – at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity. You also can do a combination of the two. Exercise is your drug-free treatment for hypertension. Regular physical activity makes your heart stronger. A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort. But to maintain a healthy BP, you need to keep exercising regularly. It takes about one to three months for exercise to have an impact on your blood pressure.
MEDITATE 10 MIN DAILY: Stress is your body’s natural alarm system. It releases a hormone called adrenaline that causes your breathing to quicken, and heart rate and blood pressure to rise. According to a recent research, having a positive attitude towards life, keeping your mind free of stress, anxiety and following ways to de-stress and relax are extremely important for curbing blood pressure and warding off hypertension. Further, meditation helps you to sleep better, which, as mentioned earlier, is a restorative part of physical health.
EAT MORE FRUITS & VEGGIES: Research proves that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables combined with low-fat dairy foods significantly lowers blood pressure, especially in patients with hypertension. Fruits and veggies are full of vitamins, minerals and fibre to keep your body in good condition. They also contain potassium -especially starchy vegetables such as potatoes and sweet potatoes -and are low in sodium which helps to balance out the negative effects of salt. This directly lowers the blood pressure.
LOSE WEIGHT: Obese individuals have an increase in fatty tissue that increases their vascular resistance and in turn increases the work the heart has to do.
If you’re overweight, losing even 2-3 kg can lower your blood pressure. To lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn. But don’t go on a crash diet, do it slow and steady.