Be Smart and Prevent Blood Pressure

Earning more money has its upside; homes get bigger, cars get bigger and people get bigger. Well some people get bigger and they might not even know or care that their blood pressure is problematic which means they may be the walking dead as far as blood pressure is concerned as it has the honour of being called the “the silent killer.”

You can successfully control your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle and this means:

  • Watching  your weight

Weight control is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for controlling blood pressure. Losing even a small amount of weight if you’re overweight or obese can help reduce your blood pressure and even improve your sleep (being overweight also disrupts breathing while you sleep- sleep apnoea which further raises your blood pressure)

Hint: Drink a glass of water before you eat

  • Keeping an eye on your waistline

Besides the weight watching and loss, you generally should also keep an eye on your waistline. Carrying too much weight around your waist can put you at greater risk of high blood pressure. There is a general yard stick that says men are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 40 inches (102 centimetres). Women are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 35 inches (89 centimetres).

Hint: You should ask your doctor about what is a healthy waist measurement for you.

  • Exercising regularly

Regular physical activity can help you avoid developing hypertension. If you already have hypertension, regular physical activity can bring your blood pressure down to safer levels. Walk, jog, cycle, swim, play soccer, basketball, netball, or dance.

Hint: Carry your bags instead of pushing them in a trolley at the mall. Avoid the lifts and take the stairs.

  • Changing your eating habits

Changing your eating habits can stop high blood pressure from setting in. It is good to cut back on processed foods, polonies, bacon, ham, brawn, hotdogs, sausages,  canned foods, high-fat dairy products, saturated in fat meats, coffee, black tea, and alcohol. (Drinking more than moderate amounts of alcohol can actually raise blood pressure by several points. It can also reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications). Also avoid Ketchup, tomato sauce, chicken skin, full-fat dairy, red meat, butter and sugar-sweetened beverages.

It isn’t easy to change your eating habits but remember it isn’t about depriving yourself.  It’s about eating smart and healthy for your body. And there is nothing smarter than reading food labels before you buy them, drinking alcohol only in moderation, quitting smoking in any form, eating-lean meat, legumes, whole grains, low-fat dairy , fruits and vegetables and finally reducing on salt in your diet; an intake of 1,500 mg a day or less is ideal for most adults.

Hint: Fill up your plate with at least 50 per cent vegetables every meal and opt for natural sweeteners like honey and eat fruits to satisfy your sugar cravings. 

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Kwachalelo, be successful, be well.

About Balekile Gausi

A prolific writer covering work, money and lifestyle that passed through university coming away with a very good grasp of public administration, money and banking, international relations. She was a civil servant that quickly opted for self-employment. And as a trained and published writer she has been freelance feature writing for several decades but has also published fiction in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine. Now settled and living in Lusaka after many years of living in several cities in Africa and Europe; Balekile is also an avid bird watcher, is married with 3 adult children and has an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( the Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list!)

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