Take steps to control blood pressure

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Before learning to control blood pressure, let’s look quickly at what it is.

Blood pressure is the result of two forces: from the heart as it pumps blood into the arteries and throughout the circulatory system, and the force of the arteries as they resist blood flow.

High blood pressure is harmful to the body because it causes the heart to work harder than normal, leaving both the heart and arteries more prone to injury. High blood pressure also increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, damage to the eyes, kidney failure, atherosclerosis and congestive heart failure. High blood pressure combined with other risks, such as obesity, smoking, high blood cholesterol or diabetes greatly increases the risk for heart attack or stroke.

When high blood pressure continues without treatment, the heart must work harder to pump enough blood and oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues. When the heart is over-worked for extended periods of time, the heart tends to enlarge and weaken. Arteries also suffer from elevated blood pressure, becoming scarred, hardened and less elastic over time.

High blood pressure is often termed “the Silent Killer” because it usually has no symptoms. Many people have high blood pressure for many years without knowing about it. The only way to find out if your blood pressure is elevated is to have your blood pressure checked.

Learn to control blood pressure

There are several things that most people can do to control and lower their blood pressure, and consequent health risks, without drug therapy. In America and most of Europe, obesity is a major problem, in fact weight loss is very important if you want to reduce your blood pressure. Often the loss of just five or ten pounds can lead to a substantial reduction. Alcohol is also detrimental if you suffer from hypertension. Some studies estimate that 5-10% of hypertension in American individuals is due to alcohol. More than two drinks a day may also reduce the efficiency of blood pressure medicines.

There is no doubt that exercise can have a great impact of controlling blood pressure. Under your doctors instructions, you should try to work up to at least 45 minutes of exercise no less than 3 times a week. This will also help you to lose weight and ward off diabetes.

In summary, to control blood pressure you need to lose all unwanted weight, reduce alcohol intake, exercise and eat a wholesome, well balanced diet that is low in salt.

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