Hypertension, or high blood pressure, affects more than 50 million American people. By definition, it's anything above 140/90, and it can be caused by many different things. Rather than dealing with it, find ways to prevent hypertension. Here are a few ways that you can prevent getting hypertension.
Keep an eye on your blood pressure. Hypertension or high blood pressure can lead to a myriad of different problems, all involving your heart. If you have a family history of high blood pressure, heart attacks or strokes, you need to be even more aware of your blood pressure. You can prevent hypertension by checking your blood pressure along with your pulse on a regular basis. Your local pharmacy may have a "do-it-yourself" blood pressure machine, but your doctor can do this for you if you prefer. Aim for numbers below 140 (top) and 90 (bottom) and a pulse between 66 and 82 b.p.m. (beats per minute).
In addition to watching your blood pressure, you should also keep a close eye on your cholesterol. Anyone with high cholesterol will likely have narrow arteries. This will restrict blood flow, and could lead to a heart attack. Get your cholesterol checked once a year, and keep track of it. A journal that outlines your blood pressure, cholesterol and pulse is a great way to stay on top of your health and prevent any major health problems.
Lose some weight. If you are overweight, chances are you have an increased risk of hypertension. Prevent the possibility of this by losing weight. Talk to your doctor about an appropriate BMI (body mass index) for your age and height. Then work to achieve this weight. It is believed that weight is the leading cause of hypertension - lower your weight, and you prevent hypertension.
Maintain a healthy diet. Part of getting yourself to a healthy weight involves eating a healthy diet. Don't cause your blood flow to slow down by eating high-fat foods that clog your veins and arteries. Instead, stimulate great circulation and prevent hypertension by eating a low-fat, high-fiber diet. Include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet plan. Some salt is okay, but talk to your doctor about your own personal salt intake. Red wine, in moderation, has also been said to lower blood pressure. As with all alcohol though, just don't overdo it, or you'll do more harm than good in your battle against hypertension.
As well as eating properly, you need to stop smoking. If you've got high blood pressure and you're a smoker, you have a major risk of having a stroke. Prevent this by kicking the smoking habit permanently.
Get enough exercise. Along with a good diet and healthier habits, you should also increase your daily exercise. It doesn't need to be anything vigorous - even moderate activity throughout the day can help to get your circulation going and prevent hypertension. Aerobic exercise is the best form of exercise for those wanting to lower blood pressure. So make it a habit of taking a few brisk walks throughout the day. Your dog will love the extra outdoor time with you, and your heart will thank you as well. A healthy lifestyle is the best way you can prevent high blood pressure.