15 November 2014

HEALTH ALERT! - HOW TO PREVENT HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE


About 1 in every 4 Nigerians has high blood pressure, also named hypertension, which is a main risk factor for heart and kidney diseases, stroke, and heart failure. It is set to sharply rise as the country accepts western lifestyles. You can prevent it by:

Exercise regularly 

It is well-known that blood pressure often increases as weight increases. Regular physical activity — at least 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week — can lower your blood pressure. Start walking, jogging or cycling. No matter what your speed is, even light activities, if done daily, can help lower your risk. 

Eat healthy food 
Your diet – what you eat and drink – has an existent effect on your heart and blood pressure. The healthier eating habits are, the lower your blood pressure will be. Eat more fruit, vegetables, cereals, drink milk, try to reduce salt intake. Cutting back on salt also prevents blood pressure from rising. 

Reduce stress 

Stress can make blood pressure go up, and over time may contribute to the cause of high blood pressure. Your emotions, particularly anger and grief, are hidden risk factors for high blood pressure. Hypertension can arise because you are “hyper-tense”—filled with bottled-up anger or grief. So calm your mind, heal your body. 

Control the amount of alcohol you drink 

Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure. To help prevent high blood pressure, limit how much alcohol you drink to no more than two drinks a day. Women should limit their alcohol to no more than one drink a day. Smoking throughout the day means your blood pressure may remain constantly high. Avoid tobacco products. 

Lessen caffeine 

The role caffeine plays in blood pressure is still controversial. Drinking caffeinated liquids can temporarily cause a prickle in your blood pressure, but it’s unclear whether the effect is brief or long lasting. To see if caffeine raises your blood pressure, check your pressure within 30 minutes of drinking a cup of coffee or another caffeinated liquid you regularly drink. If your blood pressure increases by five to 10 points, you may be sensitive to the blood pressure raising effects of caffeine.

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