How Do You Prevent High Blood Pressure?

In last week’s post we went over the causes of high blood pressure in light of it being National High Blood Pressure Education Month.

In this post, we shall cover ways to prevent high blood pressure and ideas as to how you can keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.

Why is Preventing High Blood Pressure so Important?

Well, for starters, the higher that your blood pressure is, the higher your personal risk of having health problems is. A high blood pressure is associated with serious cardiovascular outcomes such as heart attack or stroke. The reason for this is because high blood pressure strains arteries.

High blood pressure is damaging to the entire body, not just your arteries. Here are the dangers of high blood pressure, the ways it negatively affects various parts of the body:

  • Eye damage
    • Eye blood vessel damage
    • Fluid buildup under retina
    • Nerve damage
  • Kidney damage
    • Kidney failure
    • Kidney scarring
    • Kidney artery aneurysm
  • Brain damage
    • Transient ischemic attack
    • Stroke
    • Dementia
    • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Heart damage
    • Coronary artery disease
    • Enlarged left heart
    • Heart failure
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Arterial damage
    • Narrowing arteries,
    • Aneurysm

Thus, having normal blood pressure is an important key to staying healthy.

5 Easy Ways to Keep your Blood Pressure Healthy

  1. Keep a healthy diet. Cut back on your salt intake and increase your intake of potassium and magnesium which are know to be heart-healthy nutrients.
  2. Exercise regularly. About 30 minutes of exercise per day can help you decrease your blood pressure levels, especially if you follow a healthy diet plan.
  3. Reduce your coffee and alcohol intake. Did you know that alcohol is tied to 16% of the world’s hypertension cases? This demonstrates a link between alcohol and the heart.
  4. Manage stress more effectively. Staying in constant stress-mode means that you are on high alert, thus your blood pressure stays high, too. This mechanism is related to the fight-or-flight mode. At some point, your heart will experience wear and tear.
  5. Lose unhealthy weight. Weight loss has been scientifically established as able to lower systolic blood pressure. 
  6. Stop smoking. If you have a smoking habit, consider cutting it because each cigarette can increase your blood pressure temporarily.

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