Lifestyle exists as the perfect example of the Cause and effect’ theory. An individual who does not follow a proper lifestyle (cause) is at every risk of suffering from blood pressure (effect). The cause also exists as the solution for treating BP-improvement in lifestyle improves blood pressure rates and keeps them under control. In words, it sounds extremely simple to handle but practically most people lose control at some point in life and suffer from blood pressure effects.
High Blood Pressure
Blood circulating inside us sometimes exerts pressure on the walls of the arteries. This pressure causes damage to the arteries which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke over time. Also called as hypertension, risk factors include age and family history, but lifestyle choices remain as the No. 1 risk factor for triggering increase in blood pressure levels.
Even the American Heart Association Hypertension Guideline recommends lifestyle changes as the first step in reducing blood pressure. Despite repeated insistence on an active lifestyle for reducing BP individuals rely completely on medications. The recent study comes as a solid proof for these guys who doubt the effects of a lifestyle modification in reducing blood pressure levels.
Many reputed physicians and RDNs believe that eating healthy food and exercising regularly decrease the need of medications in a majority of BP patients especially those whose systolic numbers range between 130 and 160 mmHg and diastolic numbers between 80-99 mmHg. The study group selected 129 obese men and women between the ages of 40 and 80 years who had high blood pressure. Each one of them had blood pressure measuring between 130-160/80-99 mmHg but none were into BP medications at that point of study. Almost more than 50% participants needed antihypertensive medications according to the BP guidelines at the start of the study. Each of the participants were assigned to one of the three groups during the 16 weeks of study. Participants in the first group underwent diet modifications and also took part in weight management programs. Diet modification included pursuing a DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) plan that has been approved universally by established healthcare organizations, RDNs and physicians for lowering blood pressure levels. DASH is a diet approach that focuses mainly on consuming fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy minimizing consumption of red meat, salt and sweets. Participants in the second group were given a DASH diet plan without any instructions on physical activity changes. The third group neither changed their food habits nor introduced physical activity in their day-to-day life.
Results showed that:
A DASH diet is low in total fat, saturated/trans fat and cholesterol and rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium and fiber. Dietitians and nutritionists specializing in BP management at www.firsteatright.com can help in planning a healthy diet plan suiting your requirements and control BP in the perfectly healthy way. It is also recommended to limit sodium intake, avoid alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking and manage stress with the right approach (such as meditation and yoga) to keep BP under control. It is also necessary to stay physically active. Choose the right activity that keeps you happy as this might also keep you stress-free. Choose anything between walking, jogging, swimming, playing a sport or dancing.
Different factors have different effects on blood pressure rates and a combination of these can have a strong impact on your body. Its been agreed that similar to weight loss, even a similar reduction in BP levels can have tremendous effect on the body lowering the risk of heart diseases and other diseases. Abnormal blood pressure rates are prevalent among a majority of the population worldwide. The solution remains clear and simple. Its now time that people awake, arise and fight against increasing blood pressure rates by taking care of their body properly.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.