Blog Post - News, Views and Tips
Prevention is always better than cure, and educating yourself on this debilitating condition will be a good way to start managing your health. So here is my usual nagging bit to you!!
Blood pressure is the force exerted by blood on the walls of your arteries when the heart is beating. High blood pressure means the heart has to work harder than normal to keep the blood pumping, and this extra pressure can eventually damage the heart and arteries by means of heart attacks, kidney failure, strokes, damage to the eyes, accelerated atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and congestive heart failure. Unfortunately high blood pressure can go unnoticed for years as some people have no symptoms at all, so it is always good to get a regular check up at your doctor to make sure your body is running smoothly.
In a high percentage of cases the causes of high blood pressure are unknown, but many cases are linked to other underlying causes such as kidney abnormality, tumor of the adrenal gland or congenital defect of the aorta. Other factors are things like poor diet, smoking, obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes. Fortunately, if diagnosed early, good medication and/or lifestyle changes can help bring you back within normal limits. In fact, many people diagnosed with high blood pressure (hypertension) have subsequently weaned themselves off medication entirely, just by changing their lifestyle.
If you are interested in adopting a healthier lifestyle to reverse or prevent this condition, then stopping smoking, drinking less alcohol or losing any extra weight you may be carrying around will all help. Critically though, aerobic exercise is the most important for maintaining a strong healthy heart, and it is therefore important in the prevention of high blood pressure and coronary heart disease. The great thing is that you don’t need to go to a gym or belong to a sports club. Simple exercise ideas can include running or even walking at a fast pace, swimming, dancing, cycling or using a stepper. In fact any exercise that makes you slightly out of breath is a great start, and you should aim to do between 10 and 30 mins daily, as even a little exercise will help. Remember though, if you feel chest pain, dizziness, nausea, palpitations or leg cramps then stop exercising and talk to your doctor.
The wonderful thing is, as well as de-stressing your heart and helping lower your blood pressure, exercise also helps de-stress your mind. So not only will your body physically thank you, but you’ll feel so much better emotionally too. Don’t you just love Win-Win situations!