Hypertension on the high? Here are top 10 tips to get it down and keep it down.
Seven in 10 adults are at a greater risk of stroke or heart attack because their blood pressure is too high. Desk jobs, lack of exercise and eating salty fast foods have contributed to the problem, even among the young.
If your level is consistently at or above 140mmHg/ 90mmHg (referred to as 140 over 90). The 140 figure is the systolic pressure —the pressure reached when the heart forces the blood around the body — and 90 is the diastolic pressure — the lowest pressure that occurs between heartbeats when the heart relaxes.
In India, experts say, the prevalence of hypertension ranges from 20-40 per cent in urban adults and 12-17 per cent among rural adults.
But there’s no reason to worry. Simple measures will help to cut your risk.
Go for a weekly jog
Jogging for just an hour a week can increase your life expectancy by six years, according to a Copenhagen City Heart cardiovascular study of around 20,000 men and women aged from 20 to 93.
Researchers believe jogging delivers multiple health benefits, improving oxygen uptake and lowering blood pressure, as well as many more benefits. However, any physical activity can help lower blood pressure by strengthening the heart so it can pump more blood with less effort, thereby decreasing the force on the arteries. Power walking can be just as effective as jogging.
Just one small pot a day can reduce your chances of developing high blood pressure by a third, according to a study presented at the University of Minnesota in the US. Scientists think naturally occurring calcium can make blood vessels more supple, enabling them to expand slightly and keep pressure low.
They found those who ate a 120g pot daily were 31 per cent less likely to develop high blood pressure over a 15-year period than those who did not.
Eating potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, and reducing salt intake could save thousands of lives every year, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal online. Potassium is an important mineral that controls the balance of fluids in the body and helps to lower blood pressure.