With high blood pressure affecting more than a third of adults, it is vital that you and your loved one are aware of how you can maintain your blood pressure at a healthy level.
Everyone is at risk from developing high blood pressure, however harmful effects such as an increased risk of developing dementia and blindness are particularly high in the older population.
Healthdirect.gov.au has outlined some useful tips to ensure that you and your loved one can manage your blood pressure:
Regularly check your blood pressure
The only way to know if you or your loved one is suffering from high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked. A simple blood pressure test can assist in identifying hypertension and whether medication or a new lifestyle change is required to treat the high levels of blood pressure.
Maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly
Combining a healthy diet with regular exercise can not only improve your general health but can reduce your risk of developing hypertension. Replacing junk food and alcohol with a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and grains not only reduces blood pressure but promotes overall good health.
As obesity can increase your risk of high blood pressure it is crucial to maintain a healthy rate. Australians are recommended to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week. So, get outside, enjoy the sun and break a sweat.
Cut the salt
It is common that most people eat too much sodium without knowing it, which can drastically increase your blood pressure. With this in mind, Australian adults are recommended to consume less than 4g salt, with 6g of salt being the maximum daily upper limit (equivalent to about a teaspoon of salt).
Most of the sodium in our diets come for from adding it when food is being prepared, therefore it is important to read food labels, paying close attention to sodium levels.
Foods with 140mg or less sodium per serving are considered low sodium. Additionally, try limit your intake of the ‘Salty 6’ – the top six common foods that add the most salt to your diet:
- Bread and rolls
- Cold cuts and cured meats
You can still enjoy these foods, just carefully read the food labels and choose the lowest level of sodium for these items. Remember, indulge in moderation, not deprivation.
Medicines for high blood pressure
Sometimes people with high blood pressure may need to take medication to help lower their blood pressure. However, medications should not replace, or deter you from keeping a healthy and active lifestyle. Talk to your doctor about whether you need medication for high blood pressure. If you do, it is good practice to regularly review and assess with your doctor, the ongoing benefits and risks of taking any prescribed medications.
Maintaining you and your loved one’s blood pressure at a healthy level can make a big difference to your health and help protect your from developing a stroke or heart disease.
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