10 Ways To Prevent High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is one of the major contributors to heart disease, the number one killer in America. What are some ways you can prevent high blood pressure?

When you go to the doctor's office, the nurse often checks your blood pressure. Why the need? They do this because heart disease is the number one killer of women and men in this country. But what does that have to do with high blood pressure, you may wonder. When somebody has high blood pressure, their heart is working overtime to pump blood into the arteries and throughout the body. This constant overworking can easily cause damage to the linings of arteries which, in turn, can make them vulnerable to fatty deposit buildups, reducing blood flow. Strokes, heart attacks and kidney damage are not unlikely at this point. Rather than wait until we are told our blood pressure is high, what can we do to prevent it now?

* We must maintain a healthy weight. Above and beyond trying to look great in a bikini for summer, we should maintain a healthy height to weight ratio to prevent us from falling victim to heart disease. Being heavier than you should be can make you at least twice as likely to develop high blood pressure.

* Have an active lifestyle. Working out your body by swimming, running, mowing the lawn, walking or doing aerobics will keep both your body and your heart healthy. Your heart is a muscle just like your biceps or quadriceps and it must also be worked out regularly.

* Eat less sodium/salt. This will prevent your blood pressure from rising. Your body needs approximately one teaspoon of salt a day. Keep that in mind the next time you salt down your food before tasting it.

* If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. You should never drink more than 2 alcoholic drinks a day, since alcohol is directly related to instances of high blood pressure.

* As if being heavy wasn't bad enough, now you need to worry about where most of your extra weight resides. If you are big around the belly or have what is called a spare tire, you are at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure. In addition to eating a balanced and healthy diet, incorporate cardiovascular exercise into your routine as well as strength training exercises that work these core muscles.

* If your idea of a family dinner consists of thawing out and heating up a frozen dinner, think again. Frozen dinners are notorious for containing an abundance of sodium. Rethink your dinner or lunch routine, if you have come to rely on these frozen foods for convenience.

* There is nothing better than having a healthy and well-balanced diet. Instead of those frozen dinners, eat more fresh vegetables, fruits and meats. They are lower in sodium than prepackaged or frozen convenience foods.

* Check your blood pressure regularly. You will want to have it checked at least once a year or more, especially if your family has a history of high blood pressure. Do not rely on checking it yourself on those free blood pressure checkers found at pharmacies. Consult your doctor to figure out a game plan, if you are prone to high blood pressure.

* If you smoke, quit. Smoking is one of the unhealthiest vices and quitting will help both your lungs and your heart.

* If you are one of those type-A personalities that is always tightly-wound, look around for ways to relax. Have a massage once a month, take yoga or Pilates or schedule a much-needed vacation.

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