Blood Pressure Awareness Month
May is Blood Pressure Awareness month. High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects about 1 in every 3 adults in most developed countries. It is an unhealthy condition which occurs when the flow of blood through the body puts too much pressure on the walls of the veins. But there are ways to correct this condition, and it being May, it’s a great opportunity to share some healthy habits that can positively influence your blood pressure.
Making exercise part of your weekly routine (30-60 minutes, five days per week) is an important step in getting those numbers down. A regular program of exercise can prove beneficial in lowering blood pressure. People who’ve been mostly sedentary may notice the benefits of movement right away. The trick is to commit to your health and make it a part of your normal routine. Little things like parking a bit further from the door or using the stairs instead of elevators and escalators can get you off to a good start.
Scaling down your weight
If you’re overweight, even losing five kilos can have an immediate impact on blood pressure. Getting closer to your ideal weight, or BMI, is the best way to turn those high numbers around. With a doctor-approved combination of exercise, healthy eating habits, and at least 7 hours of good quality sleep each night, you’re most likely to notice changes in your clothes, energy levels and overall mood.
Getting the right amount of sleep can have a rippling effect on your general health. Most adults need between 7 and 8 hours of nighttime rest. Less than this amount can lead to sleep debt over time. So, try going to bed a bit earlier when possible. If you have trouble falling asleep, turn off your electronic devices (the screen’s blue light has been proven to encourage alertness) at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime, do breathing exercises, or read paper texts book before sleeping.
More and more studies are showing that reducing stress is critical to our mind and body. Listening to your body and adding common relaxation techniques can benefit your general well-being. Try common practices like:
- deep breathing
- listening to calming music or white noise
to get your head and body in a calmer state.
Maybe you’ve read something today that will motivate you to take some time out for yourself and your health. Note that you should always check with a licensed doctor or healthcare professional to discuss lifestyle changes before making any dramatic changes yourself. For more information about this topic, one possible source is here.