High blood pressure, or Hypertension, is one of the most common conditions that affects millions of people. It is a condition in which a person’s blood pressure is greater than a healthy level and puts too much force on the artery walls. The arteries are responsible for carrying blood from the heart to the rest of the body. About one-third of adults in the United States have high blood pressure.
· About 70 million American adults have high blood pressure—that’s 1 of every 3 adults.
· Only about half of people with high blood pressure have their condition under control.
· Nearly 1 of 3 American adults has prehypertension—blood pressure numbers that are higher than normal, but not yet in the high blood pressure range.
· Women are about as likely as men to develop high blood pressure during their lifetimes.
· However, for people younger than 45 years old, the condition affects more men than women. For people 65 years old or older, high blood pressure affects more women than men.
Best ways to lower blood pressure:
Lose weight/watch your waistline. More often than not, the more you weigh, the higher your blood pressure will be. Being overweight can cause a person to develop sleep apnea, which can also increase your blood pressure. One of the best ways to lower your blood pressure is by losing weight. By losing just ten pounds, you can lower your blood pressure. It is also important to control the size of your waistline. Having a larger than average waistline can increase your risk of high blood pressure. Men are at risk if their waistline is greater than 40 inches, while women are at risk if their waistline is greater than 35 inches. These numbers may change depending on your ethnic background.
Exercise regularly. Getting regular physical exercise can help lower your blood pressure. Regular exercise means getting at least thirty minutes of exercise on most days of the week. The best types of exercise for lowering blood pressure include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming and strength training.
Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. To lower your blood pressure, you need to eat a diet that includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. It is key to limit or avoid foods that contain saturated fat and cholesterol. One of the best diets for this is the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.
Limit or avoid alcohol consumption. Limiting your alcohol consumption can lower your blood pressure. Some argue that small amounts of alcohol can be good for you, however this become ineffective when a person drinks too much alcohol. In general, women should not drink more than one drink a day, and men should not drink more than two drinks a day. Drinking more than a moderate amount of alcohol can increase your blood pressure significantly. It can also interfere with how your blood pressure medications work, making them less effective.
Limit sodium intake. Limiting the amount of sodium in your diet can help lower your blood pressure. People should aim to limit the amount of sodium they consume to less than 2,300 milligrams a day or less. However, if you are more sensitive to salt, you may be better off consuming an even lower amount, such as 1,500 milligrams a day or less. You may have a greater salt sensitivity if you are African-Americans, age 51 or older, or have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.