Hypertension: Knowing Your Numbers Can Make A Difference
Do you sometimes wonder how seemingly unimportant some things are, but neglecting them can have adverse effects? Well, that’s how our heart is; it ticks along all day keeping us alive but if we don’t pay special attention to it, high blood pressure (hypertension) could be around the corner.
There is a reason why hypertension is called the silent killer. It has no obvious symptoms so the best way to protect yourself is to check your blood pressure at least once a year. Before you go thinking that you are too young to have high blood pressure, think again. Studies have estimated that 1 in 5 young adults between the ages of 24 – 32 may have high blood pressure and may not be aware. Another study showed that the prevalence of pre-hypertension among 20 – 30-year-old was as high as 45.2%!
Know your numbers
High blood pressure develops slowly over time. So, how do you know if you are alright, on the brink or in danger? Numbers! They make all the difference here. Understanding your blood pressure numbers should be part and parcel of your health routine especially as it may encourage you to make lifestyle changes. The numbers below will let you know where you stand. The higher the blood pressure, the more strain your heart is under and this in turn negatively impacts several vital organs.
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The good thing is that if you keep track of your numbers and maintain a healthy lifestyle, you stand a high chance of keeping hypertension at bay, as well as complications such as heart disease and stroke.
Additional Preventive Measures
- Reduce salt intake: recommended intake shouldn’t be more than 2,300 mg per day. Adults who already have hypertension should limit their intake to 1,500 mg.
- Limit processed foods: many of these foods are also low in nutritional value while also high in sodium.
- Exercise: if you already do this, it’s important to be consistent. It’s better to exercise 30 minutes every day rather than a few hours on weekends.
- Watch your weight: it’s important not to be overweight. Losing just a few kilos can positively impact your blood pressure readings.
- De-stress: yes, we face difficulties daily but it’s important to pay more attention to stress management.
- Reduce your alcohol intake: or stop drinking if the situation so requires. Also, quit smoking.
As you age, prevention becomes even more important. It’s important to have constant honest discussions with your doctor about how you can manage your overall health to help prevent hypertension.