Ways to Prevent Hypertension
A healthy lifestyle can reduce your risk for developing hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. This is important to know as high blood pressure can lead to some serious medical conditions such as a heart attack, strokes, kidney disease and other illnesses.
Are you at risk? According to Mayo Clinic, anyone is at risk for high blood pressure, but individuals with an increased risk include:
- Advanced Age: risk of high blood pressure increases as you age;
- Gender: men are more likely to experience high blood pressure, while women are more likely to develop high blood pressure after 65.
- Family history
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Using tobacco
As you look to take steps to prevent high blood pressure, consider the following:
Lower your sodium intake. Choose foods with low sodium and high potassium, The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute created a DASH eating plan. In this plan, foods that are recommended include
- Whole grains
- Fat-free or low-fat dairy products
- Fish, poultry, beans, nuts and vegetable oils
Avoid foods such as:
- Foods with high levels of saturated fats- fatty meats, full-fat dairy, even tropical oils such as coconut, palm kernel and palm oils
- Sugar-filled beverages
Limit the amount of alcohol you consume. Excessive drinking can lead to high blood pressure.
Increase physical activity. Exercise will help lower your blood pressure. Aerobic exercises such as brisk walking will make your heart beat harder using more oxygen than usual.
Stress less. Easier said than done, but try to practice ways to decrease your stress levels. Ways to reduce stress vary person to person; some of the most common ways include exercise, listening to music and mediation.