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High blood pressure, or hypertension, is often undiagnosed since there are usually no symptoms. But it can result in severe conditions such as kidney illness, heart illness, or stroke because the increased workload for the heart can cause thickening or hardening of arteries.
Be sure to have you and your family’s blood pressure checked regularly and keep it low or lower it to prevent long-term health issues.
Having blood pressure below 120\80 is healthy; however, anything more than that range is considered high or elevated. You can avoid or prevent hypertension by:Make an effort to prevent high blood pressure, and you'll reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other serious illnesses. These tips can help you stay healthy! Click To Tweet
#1 – Eat healthy foods
Eating a balanced diet can help keep you and your family’s blood pressure under control. Limit your intake of salt (sodium), excess calories, and sugar, and get plenty of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and dairy products, especially those high in potassium, omega-3s, calcium, and magnesium.
Find healthy proteins like fish and seafood, skinless turkey or chicken, eggs, and legumes. Drink plenty of fluids as well to help flush toxins from the body.
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) plan is an excellent example of an eating plan that can help your whole family manage blood pressure.
#2 – Exercise regularly
Working out not only helps weight loss and improves fitness, but it also reduces tension and stress that can contribute to high blood pressure. Health providers recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.
Try moderate aerobic workouts like walking, cycling, or swimming. If you want high-intensity exercises, try jumping rope or running, lift weights at the gym or home.
#3 – Quit smoking
Nicotine reduces oxygen levels in the body, lowers good cholesterol levels, can cause blood clots, and raises blood pressure.
All these factors can result in serious heart illness, but quitting can decrease you and your family’s risk of heart illness by half after about 12 months.
#4 – Manage stress
Blood pressure (BP) is directly impacted by stress. When you are in a stressful situation, blood pressure is usually increased by an increase in hormones.
It’s essential to know what triggers anxiety for each member of your family so you can all work on controlling or managing it. Yoga, listening to music, deep relaxation, focusing on something peaceful or calm, and meditation can help reduce stress levels.
#5 – Get enough sleep
Sleeping seven to eight hours each night may help prevent hypertension. Sleep helps to regulate stress hormones and to keep the nervous system healthy.
Sleeping less than six hours could hurt the ability of the body to handle stress hormones.
#6 – Limit alcohol
Binge drinking alcohol regularly can result in hypertension. For men, that means no more than two drinks per day, and for women, no more than one.
One drink is 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of liquor, or 12 ounces of beer.
In addition to that, alcohol may interact with some medications you or one of your family members take and adds calories to your diet, contributing to an inability to lose weight or gain weight.
#7 – Maintain a healthy weight
Each family member is two to six times more likely to develop hypertension if obese or overweight. The weight range is typically calculated using the body mass index, BMI.
However, it might also be based on the waist and hip measurements. Talk with a health provider about the best weight for each of you.
Take a look at your whole family’s lifestyle habits and see where to make changes to help avoid or prevent high blood pressure. Conquer simple, small goals like snacking on fruits and vegetables rather than junk food, and keep practicing the healthy habits until they are a part of you and your family’s daily routine.
Ensure that you’ve your family’s blood pressure checked regularly, either at home or at the doctor’s office.
Does anyone in your family have high blood pressure?
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.