When was the last time you have your blood pressure checked? Most people, especially the young adults, do not give much thought about blood pressure. If not required by your insurance company or employer for the medical checkup, you probably do not think about it until the next time you have it measured.
The measurement of blood pressure is recorded with two numbers, like 120/80 or read as “120 over 80”. It is measured in unit of millimetres of mercury (mmHg).
- 120. The first number indicates systolic blood pressure which is the highest pressure when your heart is pumping blood out.
- 80. The second number is the disatolic blood pressure which your heart is relaxing between beats and allow the blood flow into the heart.
If the reading is higher than 120/80, say 140/100, your blood pressure is high. High blood pressure, which is also known as hypertension, takes place when your blood moves through your arteries at higher pressure than normal. Few common symptoms of high blood pressure include dizziness, headache and nose bleeding. High blood pressure damages your blood vessels which in turn increase your risk of stroke, kidney failure, heart disease and heart attack.
If one or both of your parents have high blood pressure, you are also more likely to develop it. The risk is also higher when you age. Having said that, you can still do several things to reduce the risk of having blood pressure. It is never early to learn about high blood pressure and take some preventive measures.
- Quit smoking. The nicotine in tobacco products causes blood vessels to be narrower and making heart to beat faster so that the blood can go through those tight blood vessels. Smoking also hardens the arteries. Blood pressure will then increase. Check out this article of Confessions of a Ex-Smoker: How I Quit Smoking with Exercise
- Lose weight if you are overweight. The link between excess weight and higher risk of high blood pressure is still unknown. Experts believe obesity may cause abnormalities in certain hormonal changes which may be linked to high blood pressure. So, shed the extra pounds for a better body shape and normal blood pressure.
- Exercise regularly. The frequency is more important than the intensity of the workout. No point to exercise strenuously for 3 hours once a week. It is better to maintain the routine of an hour each session with three sessions a week.
- Eat a healthy diet which includes fruits and vegetables. In addition to that, eat whole grains, low fat diary and less red meat.
- Reduce your sodium intake. Read the article of How Much Salt Should You Eat and How To Reduce Salt Intake to find out more
- Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake too. Alcohol consumption has significant impact on blood pressure in some people. Check out the article of How To Drink Less Alcohol and Lose More Weight and How I Stop Drinking Coffee? Things I Did To Stop The Habit
- Try to release stress. Anxiety can contribute to high blood pressure. Take more walks or practice Yoga to get rid of the stress. Check out this article 4 Things I Did To Fight Stress During Difficult Times
As you have seen, you should adopt healthy lifestyle to prevent high blood pressure. Don’t foget to check your blood pressure at least once a year.
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