One out of three American adults has high blood pressure or hypertension. High blood pressure is known as the "silent killer" because people with this condition can go years without realizing they have it. The only way to tell is to have it checked by a doctor. Taking the necessary steps to control high blood pressure includes a healthy diet, increased physical activity and lifestyle changes.
HEALTHY DIET T
he key to preventing high blood pressure is moderation and a healthy lifestyle. More adults are overweight now than when their grandparents were young. Modern conveniences seem to add to the problem rather than to prevent it. Sixty-five percent of American adults are overweight or obese. If you are 30 percent above your normal weight, you are a high risk. Take the necessary steps to lower your blood pressure. First, make changes to your diet. Cut salt back to 1.5 grams a day. Add potassium to your diet by eating 8-10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Eat whole grains, poultry, fish, and nuts. Avoid canned foods, cold cuts, sugary beverages, and sweets. If you can't leave out dairy from your diet, at least choose lowfat products.
INCREASE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Second, lose the weight. Light aerobic exercise 20 to 45 minutes 4-5 times a week will reduce your body fat. Commit to walking after dinner or first thing in the morning. If it is hot outside, walk inside the mall or go swimming. If you do not have time to commit to a regular schedule, increase your physical activity by parking your car a good distance away and walk to your destination. Take a flight of stairs instead of the elevator, weed your garden, or cut the grass instead of having it done for you.
Did you know that your lifestyle could be killing you? We get so used to living a certain way that change can be difficult. However, your lifestyle can dramatically increase your chance of having high blood pressure so take the time to change your bad habits one by one.
- Drink alcoholic beverages in moderation. A moderate amount is one to two glasses of red wine, something even proven good for your health.
- Avoid Tobacco. Smoking, even second-hand smoke, is not good for anyone but especially those with high blood pressure. Ask your doctor for help. Inquire about nicotine gum or patches. If you smoke, your chance of suffering a heart attack is 2-6 times more likely.
- Avoid Coffee. There is a new report that indicates that some unknown ingredient or ingredients in coffee is what is responsible for high blood pressure and not caffeine. Research shows that even people who drink decaffeinated coffee display these effects. While this might seem like good news, it is best to avoid it if at all possible.
Make the necessary changes in your lifestyle, including a healthy and positive attitude to life, and live a long healthy life!