How to Prevent High Blood Pressure
From your Guide
High Blood Pressure (BP), also called [b]Hypertension[/b], is a risk
factor for heart and kidney disorders and strokes. Lowering high BP, or keeping
it normal, can help avoid heart problems. Here's how you can do this.
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- Maintain a healthy weight. There are many statistical tables that calculate
your ideal body weight based upon your height, build and age.
- If you are overweight, lose some. Being overweight increases your risk
of high blood pressure by six to eight times.
- It also matters where you are overweight. People with a pot-belly - weight
around their waist - are at higher risk for hypertension.
- To lose weight, eat fewer calories than you burn off. For instance, you
could cut down from 3500 calories a day in the first week to 3000 calories
a day for the second week, and then to 2500 calories a day for the third week
and so on.
- Do it slowly, but steadily. Aim to lose one-half to one pound a week.
- Be more physically active. Fit some light activity into your daily routine.
- Take a walk at lunch time or dinner. Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Ride a bike to the supermarket. Stop a block or two away and walk the rest
of the distance.
- Work in the garden or backyard, or go out dancing, or to an aerobics session
- Choose foodstuffs lower in salt and sodium. Eat no more than 6 grams of
salt a day.
- Check food labels for information of sodium in the food. Look for products
with "unsalted" or "sodium free" labels.
- Buy fresh poultry, fish and lean meat, and fresh, or canned with "no
salt added", vegetables.
- Cut back on frozen dinners, pizza, canned soups, broths and salad dressings,
which are high in sodium.
- If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation. If you have no more than 2 drinks
a day, your risk of high blood pressure is low.
- Other things too may help prevent hypertension, like calcium, potassium,
fish oils, magnesium and stress management.
- Don't try crash diets. Slow, steady weight control works.
- Even light activity helps, if done regularly.
- Watch food labels and your salt intake.
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