Your heart is your lifeline. It pumps blood to different parts of your body and keeps you alive. If it works harder than average to pump blood, you may be diagnosed with high blood pressure (BP) or hypertension. According to experts of Geriatric Care in Chennai, high BP is a common ailment for older adults and about 50% of seniors above 69 years having a prevalence of high BP.
What is Blood Pressure?
In simple terms, blood pressure is the force with which blood pushes against your artery walls. BP is measured using two numbers that indicate this movement.
- Systolic blood pressure is the force which measures how hard your heart contracts to pump out blood. This is the first number that appears in your BP reading – the one on top.
- Diastolic blood pressure measures how your heart muscles relax to fill with blood. This number appears at the bottom of your reading.
For most healthy adults, normal blood pressure is about 120/80. When your BP rises above this level, it can cause a range of problems, from breathing difficulties during light exercise to increased risk of heart disease, issues with eyesight, kidney failure or a stroke. While rising BP can be controlled using medications, lifestyle changes can go a long way in its management.
How to Control BP Without Medication
An overall healthy lifestyle can normalize BP and help you lead your best life in your golden years. If you are not sure of where to start, here are five ways you can ensure your BP stays normal:
Since stress is the leading cause of high BP, managing it is essential for a healthy heart. Indulge in activities that make you happy, get at least 8 hours of sleep a night and breathe easy.
Yoga and meditation, even for 10 minutes a day, is known to reduce stress. Staying in touch with friends and family regularly will also help you stay mentally sound.
Opt for a balanced diet to control BP.
- Include a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet.
- Green, leafy vegetables like spinach are high in potassium, helping you get rid of sodium through urination, which in turn lowers BP.
- Berries, especially blueberries, contain compounds called flavonoids that are believed to reduce hypertension.
- A fatty and sodium-rich diet can aggravate your BP. Ideally, limit salt intake to 2,300 milligrams a day.
- Avoid processed and packaged food to cut out unnecessary salt from your diet.
- Limit frozen food and dairy intake.
Regular physical activity also contributes to a healthy heart. Plus, it is a great stress-buster! 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activities, like walking, swimming and other senior-approved cardio activities can control BP.
Consistency is key, because if you stop exercising, your BP may spike again.
Watch Your Weight
Obesity can increase your chances of high BP. Consult a doctor to understand what the ideal weight is for your age and work towards achieving that. A balanced diet and good exercise regime can help with this, thereby reducing the overall strain on your heart.
Quit Smoking and Limit Alcohol Intake
Tobacco can damage your artery walls, and alcohol can raise your BP, as you get older. However, some kinds of alcohol, like wine, are known to reduce hypertension.
Moderation is vital here. If you are a liquor connoisseur, limit consumption to one or two glasses a day. While it may not happen overnight, it would be best to quit smoking altogether.
As you age, it is essential for you to monitor your BP at least once a month. In the course of a day, your BP may fluctuate depending on your activity levels, excitement, or sleeping patterns. However, it must remain within the normal range, on average.
Leading an overall healthy lifestyle can regulate your blood pressure automatically, eliminating the need for medication. But, if your BP shoots above a certain range and your physician advice medication, then you must heed the advice.
Now you can get all your check-ups and essential tests done at home with Alserv’s Home Care Services in Chennai. To know more, call us at +91 – 44 4666 4888 or leave a message here. We’re ready to assist you 24/7.