Hypertension occurs when there is a sustained increase in systolic blood pressure (SBP) of 140 mmHg or greater and/or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) of 90 mmHg (millimeter of mercury) or greater. Major complications of untreated hypertension include myocardial infarction, stroke, renal failure, and retinopathy.
The following are the lifestyle modifications necessary to adapt if you have been diagnosed with hypertension:
1. Stop smoking
Cigarette smoking induces arterial stiffness which may even persist for a decade after quitting. With each cigarette, the blood pressure rises transiently. Smoking has to be avoided as it can markedly increase the risk of secondary cardiovascular complications for hypertensive persons.
2. Reduce weight
Studies indicated that almost two-thirds of the people suffering from obesity are at risk of hypertension. Obesity related hypertension leads to a multiple factor disorder. Weight loss will lead to a significant lowering of blood pressure. It is important for obese patients to work on their weight before it leads to other cardiovascular problems.
3. Limit alcohol intake
Regular alcohol consumption affects the ability of the body to absorb calcium and magnesium. These nutrients are essential to lower blood pressure as well as to maintain a healthy body.
4. Increase physical activity
People who exercise an average of five times a week and expend 300 calories per exercise session can reduce risks of developing hypertension.
5. Reduce salt intake
Salt restriction is recommended for hypertensive individuals. They are "salt-sensitive" or are prone to retaining sodium, gaining weight, and getting a rise in blood pressure after a high-salt diet.
6. Increase fruit and vegetable intake
Increased number of fruits and vegetables will supply the body with enough fiber and nutrients that help lower blood pressure levels.
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