What you should know about high blood pressure
Blood pressure isn’t that hard to understand; it’s simply how much pressure your blood exerts on the blood vessels through which it flows. Systolic pressure (top number) is the blood pressure when the heart contracts; and Diastolic pressure (bottom number) is the blood pressure between heart beats. Of course why blood pressure gets high and what you can do about high blood pressure (also called hypertension) is a bit more of a lengthy explanation. High blood pressure can be a seriously problem without the help of medical professionals. While your specific needs are best addressed face-to-face with your physician, it can be very beneficial to study up a bit as well.
Could you have high blood pressure?
It can happen to just about anyone. Even kids get tested for high blood pressure. There are certainly different things that can play a role in whether you develop high blood pressure later in life. In most cases, high blood pressure can have no outward symptoms, despite damaging your blood vessels, meaning regular testing is essential.
- From the age of 18, men and women should get tested for high blood pressure at least every 2 years.
Some people are at a greater risk of hypertension than others, particularly if you are in poor health. One way to know you are likely at risk of high blood pressure is waist size. This needs to be measured, and does not correlate well with the size of your clothes.
- Men: If your waist is larger than 40 inches
- Women: If your waist is larger than 35 inches
Although excess weight is certainly a big one, other factors can contribute to high blood pressure even if your waist size is normal:
Why is high blood pressure such a problem?
High blood pressure itself can lead to all sorts of cardiovascular problems, most notably heart disease, the leading cause of death in America, as well as stroke. When your body is constantly straining your blood vessels, all sorts of things can go wrong. This includes the metabolic syndrome, heart attacks, brain aneurysms, kidney problems, vision loss and more.
How to lower the risk of hypertension
While some people are genetically more prone to high blood pressure than others, a healthy lifestyle is the single best way to lower your risk. Of course, that’s easier said than done. A healthy lifestyle is a combination of lots of different healthy habits in your diet, level of activity and sleep routine.
Again, the best way to learn exactly what to do is consult with your doctor. High blood pressure is a serious condition that you shouldn’t try dealing with entirely solo.
In terms of your overall health, living healthy is great for well, all the reasons, including lowering the risk of hypertension. This means
- Eating a diet similar to a the Mediterranean diet
- Getting exercise all of types
- Getting enough sleep (about 7 to 9 hours each night)
- Maintaining healthy levels of vitamin D. (When it’s not sunny, you can get vitamin D supplements to help.)
- Reducing stress
- Minimizing alcohol consumption
- Getting plenty of fiber in your diet
- Meditation has also been shown to lower your risk
Pretty much all the above entries will help you do more than lower your risk of high blood pressure. They’re great routines to have for everything. Refining your habits so you can live healthy long-term is easier and more sustainable with the help of Olumia Life and your physician.
Originally published at olumialife.com on July 6, 2016.