Thursday, 26 Nov 2020

High blood pressure: The best way to lower your risk of the condition

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According to the NHS, around a third of adults in the UK have high blood pressure. If blood pressure continues to rise, people are more likely to suffer from vascular dementia, aneurysms and heart failure.

The national health body explains you’re more at risk of hypertension as soon as you reach the age of 65.

However, one of the biggest risk factors for the condition is being overweight and not doing enough exercise.

This is why doing the government’s minimum recommended guidance of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week is encouraged.

“Making healthy lifestyle changes can help lower your blood pressure if it’s already high,” testified the NHS.

If you struggle to find the motivation to exercise, start by walking more than usual.

If you take the lift into and out of your apartment, take the stairs; if you drive to a shop nearby, how about walking there?

With England in its second national lockdown, now is the perfect opportunity to take a long walk by yourself, with a friend, or a loved one.

There’s a “Couch to 5k” app available on smart phones that can help you lose weight.

The nine-week plan is free to download on your smartphone, and by the end of the programme you’ll be able to walk or jog 3.1 miles.

Other risk factors for high blood pressure include eating too much salt and an unhealthy diet.

To counteract this, don’t add salt to any of your meals and aim for five portions of fruits and vegetables everyday.

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If you find it difficult to keep track of what you’re eating, it may be helpful to get a food diary.

It’s also better to be mindful of how much alcohol you’re drinking on a daily or weekly basis (if applicable).

Drinking too much alcohol – 14 units or more weekly – is linked to high blood pressure.

In addition, drinking too many caffeinated drinks is a risk factor for high blood pressure.

Moreover, smoking and having disturbed sleep are other factors that can heighten blood pressure readings.

Blood pressure readings can be taken at home if you have a blood pressure monitor.

Alternatively, readings are available at the GP’s clinic or at certain pharmacies.

An ideal blood pressure range is considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.

If your reading is 140/90mmHg or higher, then you’re classified as having high blood pressure.

“Everyone with high blood pressure is advised to make healthy lifestyle changes,” said the NHS.

Whether medication is offered or not will be dependent on your own circumstances.

If you have high blood pressure, comment below on how you manage your condition.

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