Hypertension, a condition in which blood pressure is elevated, can lead to heart disease and stroke. It’s the leading cause of death worldwide, yet many cases of hypertension are preventable. Fortunately, by following some simple steps for healthy living you can avoid this serious medical condition.
To prevent hypertension, you must:
- Avoid smoking.
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat a healthy diet low in sodium and high in fruits and vegetables.
- Limit alcohol consumption to no more than one drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men.
These steps will help keep your blood pressure under control and lower the chance you will develop hypertension later in life:
Maintaining a healthy weight and eating a nutritious diet
Maintaining a healthy weight and eating a nutritious diet are important for preventing hypertension. A healthy body weight can be achieved by following any of the following strategies:
- Eating fewer calories than you use through physical activity (i.e., reducing your energy intake).
- Getting more exercise.
- Reducing dietary fat, especially saturated fats and trans fats.
Keeping physically active
- Exercise helps to reduce weight.
- Exercise helps to lower blood pressure.
- Exercise helps to improve cholesterol levels.
- Exercise helps to improve blood sugar levels.
- Exercise helps to reduce stress and anxiety, which can contribute to hypertension as well as other health issues such as heart disease and obesity. And in addition, it can boost your moods by releasing endorphins into the bloodstream! This can be especially helpful if you are feeling depressed or anxious because of your hypertension situation. If you want to learn more about how exercise might help with depression, check out this article by WebMD.
Limiting alcohol consumption to no more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 drinks per day for men
In a study, people who had one or two drinks per day were found to have lower blood pressure than people who did not drink at all. However, there is no evidence that one drink per day will lead to a decline in blood pressure over time. If you are considering reducing your drinking habits or abstaining from alcohol altogether, it’s important to talk to your doctor first. Your doctor can help determine if the benefits of limiting alcohol consumption outweigh the risks and can prescribe medications if needed.
The amount of alcohol in drinks varies depending on how strong they are and what kind of beverage they’re served in (beer has more alcohol than wine). A standard drink is generally considered:
- 12 ounces of beer
- 5 ounces of wine
- 1 ounce (1 shot) of hard liquor
A healthy lifestyle goes a long way in preventing hypertension.
A healthy lifestyle can help you prevent hypertension. The following are some tips that can help you stay healthy:
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases the risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease. In fact, losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can reduce your blood pressure by 4 to 7 mmHg (millimeters of mercury). This reduction in blood pressure may be enough to prevent or delay the onset of hypertension for years.
- Eat a nutritious diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products; limit salt intake; avoid processed foods with added sugars; limit alcohol consumption; don’t smoke cigarettes or other tobacco products; get enough sleep each night (at least 7 hours per night); maintain an active lifestyle by exercising regularly (30 minutes on most days)
Preventing hypertension is one of the most important things you can do for your health. A healthy lifestyle goes a long way in preventing hypertension.