A lot of young people make the error of thinking that high blood pressure is associated with old age when in fact, this dangerous medical condition can affect just about anyone. According to Medical News Today, high BP affects 1 in 3 people in the US and at least 1 Billion people worldwide. High blood pressure also known as hypertension, is also called the “silent killer” and for good reason. It often has no symptoms, but it’s a major risk for heart disease and stroke. When we talk about BP, you have to note that there are two numbers involved in the measurement.
The measurements are
Systolic blood pressure: This is the top number and it represents the pressure in your blood vessels when your heartbeats.
Diastolic blood pressure: Being the bottom number, this represents the pressure in your blood vessels between beats, when your heart is resting.
BP lower than 120/80 mm Hg is considered normal. However, when your BP gets to 130/80 mm Hg or more, then it is considered high. If your numbers are above normal but under 130/80 mm Hg, you fall into the category of elevated blood pressure. This means that you’re at risk of developing high BP. The good news is that with some lifestyle changes, you can reduce your numbers and lower your risks.
Exercising makes a lot of difference in your health. No matter how lazy you think you are, you can aim for a half-hour at least five days a week. Make sure you’re doing something you love. It could be dancing, riding a bike, running, taking a walk, etc.
Watch What You Eat
Try to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Too much salt raises blood pressure, so try to limit your intake to less than a teaspoonful each day. Also, control how much alcohol you drink. While small amounts may lower your blood pressure, large amounts can have the opposite effect. It’s best to cut down on refined sugar and carbohydrates also.
Learn To Manage Stress
When you are stressed, your body is constantly in a flight or fight mode. Lowering your stress levels helps to keep your blood pressure normal. Try mind-body exercises like yoga and tai-chi. You can equally listen to calming music, or your own music. Finally, sitting in the sun has been said to help boost feel-good chemicals called endorphins and lower your BP. And of couse, don’t forget to get at least 6 hours of sleep each night as long-term sleep deprivation has been shown to increase the risk of high blood pressure.
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