We need blood pressure, but a growing number of us have hypertension. For some, there is a family history of the condition making us more prone to develop high blood pressure. However, a great many people suffer from the condition because of their poor lifestyle choices.
Here are the top four lifestyle reasons why you have high blood pressure, each of which is a facet of our modern lifestyle:
# 1. Poor Diet: Modern convenience and fast foods form a big part of the diet for most us. They make our life easier by saving time in shopping for ingredients, preparing and cooking our food. On the other side of the coin, they have high sodium content; contain a large amount of saturated fat and trans-fats. Sodium, as we know, causes our blood pressure levels to shoot up rapidly to an alarming level. The high fat content contributes to the problem indirectly by causing us to pile on the pounds. We are also addicted to carbonated soft drinks. Recent research suggests that both the regular and diet varieties contribute to weight gain and indirectly affect out condition.
Improving our diet will have immediate beneficial effect on our condition. Moving to a healthy balanced diet that is low in sodium and saturated fats, but is high in fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meat is the first step in reducing your hypertension naturally. Replacing sodas with cold fresh water will also have beneficial effects that will be noticeable within just a few days.
# 2. Lack of Exercise: In our modern society, leisure activities increasingly involve sitting down to watch a movie, TV or play a computer game. Labour saving devices have reduced the amount of daily exercise we take without even being aware of it. This may have given us more free time, but it has added to our sedentary lifestyle. We spend so much time in these sedentary leisure activities that it is difficult to find time to exercise. Our bodies were made to be active otherwise we put on weight.
Taking regular exercise need not involve joining a gym or buying any special equipment. Just thirty to sixty minutes aerobic exercise each day is all that we need. This type of exercise gets our heart pumping and our lungs working to a better capacity. Brisk walking is the easiest and most convenient form of this type of exercise. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator will also help. Cycling and swimming are also good forms of exercise. The benefit, in the form of reduced hypertension, kicks in soon after completing the exercise and last for almost twenty-four hours. Regular exercise coupled with a healthy balanced diet is the best way to avoid the next lifestyle factor causing high blood pressure…
# 3. Obesity: Often, obesity is the consequence of the combination of having a poor diet and not taking sufficient exercise. Being overweight increases the risk of developing hypertension as well as type 2 diabetes. These lifestyle related and potentially life threatening conditions are often found together, each contributing to the other in a negative way.
Losing weight is an excellent way of lowering your high blood pressure. The best way to achieve this is by having a healthy balanced diet and taking regular daily exercise. Getting to and maintaining the ideal weight for your gender and height could add years to your life expectancy.
# 4. Stress: In the right context, stress is a good thing. Nature intended it as a survival mechanism, which we call “fight or flight”. This focuses the brain and gives you extra energy so you can either fight off or escape the cause of danger. Our modern lifestyle often uses the same mechanism, only that it is ongoing over a much longer period of time than nature intended. This contributes to your hypertension.
The best way to reduce your stress levels is to learn to relax. Twenty minutes deep relaxation each day has an immediate, but short-lived, beneficial effect on your hypertension.