Monday, March 28, 2011

Battling Hypertension

As you learned earlier, you can tackle high blood pressure in two ways—through lifestyle changes and with a slew of safe, effective medications. If you have prehypertension, lifestyle changes may help you stave off hypertension for years to come. If you fall into the hypertension category, you’ll probably need drugs to fight the disease, although the right habits can reduce the dose you need.

Here are the changes you can make:

• Excess weight. Lose it. Obesity triggers a cascade of changes in your body, eventually raising your blood pressure.

• Diet. High levels of salt can raise blood pressure, but the magnitude of the effect depends on the person—some people are more sensitive to the effects of salt than others. Your best chance to change your blood pressure through diet is by following the draconian DASH diet, which promotes eating fruits and vegetables and strictly limits salt, saturated fat, and alcohol. For more information, see to learn the basic principles of healthy eating.

• Exercise. Your body benefits from any physical activity, even if it’s just a brisk walk once a day. But the best way to battle high blood pressure is to include three 30-minute sessions of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week.

• Stress. Everyone encounters stressful events that cause a temporary increase in blood pressure. (In fact, even the stress of having a highly credentialed medical professional measure your blood pressure can cause a 30-point rise. This transitory phenomenon is called white coat syndrome, after every doctor’s favorite attire.) However, the effect of chronic, unrelenting stress is still unclear. To be on the safe side, take the time to relax, get proper sleep, and avoid situations of powerlessness (for example, working for an abusive boss).

Source of Information : Oreilly - Your Body Missing Manual

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