When the heart beats, it creates pressure that pushes blood through a network of tube-shaped blood vessels, which include arteries, veins and capillaries. This pressure is known as blood pressure. Blood pressure is also vital because it delivers white blood cells and antibodies for immunity, and hormones such as insulin. It is written with the systolic blood pressure first, followed by the diastolic blood pressure (for example 120/80).
BLOOD PRESSURE CATEGORIES
Category: Systolic/Diastolic (top number/bottom number)
Low risk: 120 / 80
Medium risk: 121-139 / 80 – 89
High risk: 140+ / 90
Our blood pressure is highest at the start of its journey from our heart when it enters the aorta and it is lowest at the end of its journey along progressively smaller branches of arteries. That pressure difference is what causes blood to flow around our bodies. There are so many risks associated with uncontrolled blood pressure such as heart attack, risk of stroke, heart failure and other heart conditions; cause damage to your kidneys, memory and vision; and contribute to erectile dysfunction.
So, it is very important to keep the blood pressure in healthy range to avoid health problems. Following are the tips to maintain healthy blood pressure.
- Physical Activity
Exercise is one of the best things you can do to lower high blood pressure. Consistency is the key in maintaining a healthy blood pressure reading. Be physically active for at least 150 minutes per week doing moderate- to vigorous exercise. Some examples of aerobic exercise you may try to lower blood pressure include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing. It’s better to exercise 30 minutes every day rather than a few hours only on the weekend. Regular workouts are more beneficial.
- Eat healthy diet
Eat a healthy diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. Monitor what you eat, how much, when and why. Potassium can lessen the effects of sodium on blood pressure. To get a better balance of potassium to sodium in your diet, focus on eating fewer processed foods and fresh whole foods. Start consuming potassium rich foods Like- leafy greens, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, melons, bananas, avocados, oranges, apricots, milk, yogurt, tuna, salmon, beans, nuts and seeds.
Calcium rich diets are linked to healthy blood pressure levels. Get calcium through dark leafy greens and tofu, as well as dairy.
Magnesium is an important mineral that helps regulate blood pressure. Find it in whole foods, such as legumes and whole grains. It is an important mineral that helps blood vessels relax.
- Maintain a healthy body weight
Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. Weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for controlling blood pressure. Losing weight can help your blood vessels do a better job of expanding and contracting, making it easier for the left ventricle of the heart to pump blood. Carrying too much weight around your waist can put you at greater risk of high blood pressure. You can read our blog post- Weight Loss Tips. The post shares useful tips to maintain healthy body weight.
- Reduce the amount of sodium in your diet
High sources of sodium are found in highly processed foods such as fast foods, prepared meals, processed meats, canned and dried soups, bottled dressing, packaged sauces and salty snacks. These foods are low in nutritional value while high in fat and sodium. Salt has been linked to high blood pressure and heart events, like stroke. Try to use limited amount of salt in your cooking.A lower sodium intake 1,500 milligrams a day or less is ideal for most adults. If you have high blood pressure, the recommendation is to eat less than 2000 mg of sodium per day.
- Quit smoking and Consuming less alcohol
Smoking is incredibly harmful to your heart health. Each cigarette you smoke increases your blood pressure for many minutes after you finish. Quitting smoking reduces risk of heart disease and improve your overall health.
Alcohol can be both good and bad for your health. Drinking more than moderate amounts of alcohol can actually raise blood pressure by several points. It can also reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications. If you drink alcohol consume less.
- Stress managing
When you experience stress, you might also be more likely to engage in other behaviors, such as drinking alcohol, smoking, eating unhealthy food, watching too much television that can negatively affect blood pressure. Overcome from these unhealthy stress level behaviors you should do moderate exercise, yoga, meditation, get proper sleep, listen to soft music. These activities can help in maintaining normal blood pressure.