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How To Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure
Maintaining healthy blood pressure is very important if you want to enjoy life. Blood pressure is an indicator of how your heart is operating, it measures the pressure of your blood as it passes through your arteries to supply your body with its life force – oxygen. If the pressure is very high it is a sign that your arteries and your heart in general are being put under too much strain which increases the chances of a heart attack or a stroke.
Modern life is very fast paced which means it can also be very stressful at times, it is this stress that can become detrimental to your health if left unchecked. High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common health problem that is directly related to high stress levels. Due to the fact there are no obvious symptoms of high blood pressure it is estimated that around 30% of people in England suffer from hypertension but are unaware of it, for this reason high blood pressure is known as the silent killer.
It is very important that you have your blood pressure checked at least once every five years, especially if you are over the age of 40. The ideal blood pressure for adults is 90-119 for Systolic (the force of blood in the arteries as the heart beats) and 60-79 for diastolic (the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats). Once you are aware of your blood pressure you can work out whether you need to work on lowering your blood pressure or if you need to simply maintain your current level if you are in a healthy state.
The good news is that it is fairly simple to maintain your blood pressure, it all comes down to having a healthy lifestyle:
Blood Pressure and Food
Obviously your diet should meet your individual needs but if you have a diet that consists of food which is low in saturated fats and low in sodium (salt) then you will be on the right track. Diet is very important to not only your blood pressure but your wellbeing in general. Here are some diet choices you can make to ensure you stay healthy:
Cut Out Processed Food- In the age of convenience it is becoming increasingly easier to rely on microwave meals for our subsistence. The problem lies in that these meals are often devoid of the nutrients our body needs to function at an optimum level. Try to prepare as many meals as possible from scratch with fresh, maybe homegrown, ingredients.
Cut down on salt- This fits hand in hand with the above point, many processed foods have a very high salt content which is used as a preservative. Salt naturally raises blood pressure so it is important your body does not take more salt than it needs.
Eat Fresh Fruit & Vegetables- We have all heard of “5 a day”. This is the recommended intake of fruit per day for an adult. A diet that is rich with fruit and vegetables will ensure you remain healthy, fruit and veg contains potassium which will ensure your blood pressure stays at a healthy level.
Alcohol- It is this point where many people go wrong. Although it is hard to only have one or two drinks when on night out the daily recommendation from health professionals is no more than 3-4 units of alcohol for men and 2-3 units for women. In moderation alcohol has no adverse health effects but drinking more than the recommended allowance over a long period of time will damage your health, including raising your blood pressure.
Blood Pressure and Exercise
This is fundamental principle of health that is often overlooked and abused. It is very worrying how many adults in the UK simply don’t exercise enough. The NHS recommends that each adult does at least 2 and half hours of vigorous exercise each week but for a lot of people the only real exercise they get is the walk to the car/bus for work. Not only will exercising maintain your blood pressure at a safe level but it will have a positive impact all round. A person who is in shape will not only feel good but will have the self-confidence and satisfaction that comes with a body that is well looked after. With the right frame of mind exercise can be fun, fulfilling and enjoyable. Here is a list of activities you may like to find in your local area:
If you have a friend who can take part with you then these activities can all be very enjoyable. They don’t have to feel like a boot camp, the key is to make sure you have fun when you exercise.
Blood Pressure and Weight
If you eat and exercise correctly then your weight is not going to be much of a problem. All three things are linked and maintaining a healthy weight is key to having a healthy blood pressure. Weight problems, particularly obesity, have an adverse affect on people’s health as a whole. The general consensus is the lower your weight is, the lower your heart pressure will be. If you were to ask most people what are they most self-conscious about it would be their appearance and your weight plays a big part in how you look. If weight is a problem you suffer with then there will be plenty of help and support for you in your local area, have a look around.
The most important thing to remember is that staying fit and healthy, and thus maintaining a healthy blood pressure, doesn’t have to feel like a chore. It is all a matter of habit and creating the right habits. Once these healthy habits are established then eating the right foods and exercising regularly will seem like second nature. Your healthy state of being will be something you can take great pride in, it will allow you to enjoy life to the maximum. You will have a great body, a great blood pressure level and a big smile on your face.
This guest post was written by Jennifer Smith on behalf of TABlites, the essential e-cigarette providers.
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