You Can Get Your Blood Pressure (BP) Under Control

A healthy heart working to beat blood pressure

Hypertension is a condition in which blood travels around your body at a pressure higher than normal, exposing your organs to undue stress which can lead to devastating complications like stroke or kidney failure if it is not well managed.

It is very common among black people and in Nigeria alone it is estimated that about 28.9% of Nigerians have hypertension. To bring it closer home, almost every Nigerian family has someone suffering from hypertension. There are many concoctions promoted by alternative medical practitioners as permanent cures, they do not work, but that is not the focus for today.

In this article, we have put together a few ways you can get your blood pressure under control.

Generally, “recession” is a scary word that brings back painful memories of financial difficulties. But this kind of recession is a good type. It is associated with a decline in your waistline and your weight, which has been shown to also reduce blood pressure significantly. Every kg lost is roughly equivalent to a 1mmHg drop in your blood pressure!

If your blood pressure was your favorite album, salt would be your least favorite song. That is if you want to keep enjoying music. Too much salt has been linked to an increase in blood pressure. It does not help that we have some bad practices like; adding salt to food after we have finished cooking or seasoning food without measurements. Most of us just use seasoning until that special inner voice tells us to stop).  If you are hypertensive, cut back on salt aggressively, or avoid it completely and watch how your BP drops.

Smoking increases blood pressure, as does alcohol. Indulging in either can predispose you to some of the deadly complications of hypertension like stroke and heart attacks. Surely, you do not want to experience either of these. We know it can be difficult to stop, however, through dedication and support from your doctor, family, and friends, you can quit completely. Oh, the wonders that await your BP when you cut back on these habits.

When you hear the phrase “eat right”, you probably associate it with expensive diets. Eating right is easy, and affordable. The only catch is that it involves you going out of your way to ensure that you remain healthy. That is not too difficult to do for yourself though. Eating right involves including the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains like brown rice and oats into your diet. It also means cutting down on saturated fat like beef, chicken (especially the skin). One rule of thumb for cutting down on cholesterol intake is to boil instead of frying. Also, reducing the intake of carbonated drinks will go a long way as well. All of these measures can help lower the blood pressure by as much as 11mmHg! This diet is also known as DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).

You have seen them, with their joggers, running shoes and fitness gadgets. You probably think about the stress and feel overwhelmed by the whole thing. Well, you can join the fit-fam club even without leaving your home. If you can manage 30 minutes of moderate physical activity such as home aerobics, jogging or brisk walking about 5 times a week, you will become a card-carrying member of the fit-fam crew. What’s more, your blood pressure can drop by as much as 8mmHg too!

Imagine doing all of these while taking your drugs, in no time, your BP will be under control, and what a great relief for you and your doctors. Of course, you remain the biggest winner in this! Are you parents winning as well though? Get them a Seniors plan and cover their healthcare needs for a year.

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