I am 39 years old and have just been diagnosed with high blood pressure. I need some help with my new way of eating healthy and exercising, not just for me, but my kids, so that we have a healthier lifestyle, and so I can prevent them from the same fate in the future. Can you suggest any meal ideas, exercise and good health practices to help lower my blood pressure?
High blood pressure, which is also called hypertension, is blood pressure that is higher than normal. Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood that pushes against the walls of the arteries when they carry blood away from the heart to other parts of the body. Your blood pressure will change throughout the day based on activities, stress level, etc. The blood pressure is normally measured using two numbers — the first number, known as the systolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats and pumps blood away from the heart; and the second number, known as the diastolic blood pressure, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart rests between beats. High blood pressure is usually diagnosed in a patient if he or she constantly has a blood pressure of 140/90 mm HG or higher.
Hypertension can be caused by a number of factors, for example, having a diet high in salt, fat or cholesterol. In addition, chronic conditions such as kidney and hormone problems as well as diabetes, genetic factors and lack of physical activity can lead to hypertension. Hypertension is known as the “silent killer” and should never be taken lightly.
It is my view that some things about your lifestyle tipped you over the edge to hypertension. In order to reverse this situation, you will have to make some lifestyle changes both in your diet as well as your exercise. However, the good news is that you can get your pressure under control in a short time period.
If you are overweight, I would suggest that you lose some weight. Obesity is definitely a risk factor for hypertension. In order to lose weight you will need to reduce your calorie intake and force the body to use up some of the reserve fat. It is also helpful to do some exercises in order to lose weight. Exercise will also help to reduce stress, which can also affect your blood pressure.
As far as the eating a bit goes, it would be better to adopt a predominantly plant-based diet. This will help with your weight loss as well as reduce your intake of cholesterol. A high level of bad cholesterol in the body can reduce blood vessel diameter and cause an increase in pressure. It is therefore important to reduce your intake of food from animals. In addition, it is also important to reduce your intake of salt. Excess amounts of salt can increase blood pressure.
It is important to have a diet with a fair amount of fruits, vegetables, vegetable juices, whole grains, etc. Again, it is also important to increase your activity/exercise. And monitor your blood pressure on a regular basis just to make sure it is being kept under control.
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