Protect Your Heart: Tips To Prevent Hypertension

Though hypertension usually occurs at a later age, you’d want to start taking better care of your blood pressure even in your early 20s.

Teens and young adults may find it easier to get away with eating excessive amounts of salt and sugar. From the bag of chips they munch on during study sessions to that venti-sized coffee blend, constantly switching between highly salty or sugary food items is just part of the regular —which may not come as a surprise.

During this age, the health conditions that bombard the minds of older individuals still seem like a long way off. And as such, younger people tend to be more carefree with their diet and routine. However, the habits you form during this age often determine the state of your health down the line.

And sometimes, the consequences of these certain choices may also come sooner than you think. Though hypertension usually takes years to develop, studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that youth aged 12 to 19 may also have elevated blood pressure. Forming healthy habits now becomes even more important to protect children from the health problems rooted in this condition.

What happens if you have hypertension?

You experience high blood pressure when your blood vessels or arteries narrow, making it difficult for your blood to flow through. Your heart is also forced to pump harder to deliver oxygen when this happens. Over time, this activity can lead to many health issues that may affect your heart and other organs like your brain, eyes, and kidneys. The risk of high blood pressure or hypertension naturally increases as you age and commonly occurs past the age of 45.

However, the tricky part about this condition is that there are no visible symptoms. Hypertension is dubbed a “silent condition” wherein a person can have elevated blood pressure for years before discovering it. Only when hypertension has become severe will it reveal symptoms like dizziness, flushed skin, and red spots on your eyes.

Luckily, knowing whether you have or don’t have hypertension is as easy as paying a visit to your doctor. Healthcare professionals will conduct simple and painless blood pressure readings for diagnosis. Still, even if you don’t have high blood pressure, it’s helpful to know what activities to avoid that contribute to hypertension.

Narrowing down the culprits

Some people may acquire high blood pressure due to an existing health condition, categorized as secondary hypertension. On the other hand, primary hypertension may result from various culprits and simply indicates that it’s not due to a prior medical condition. These risk factors may range from age, weight, sodium intake, alcohol consumption, smoking habits, and vitamin deficiency. In other words, the key may also lie in setting preventive measures.

Build preventive habits today

Structuring your lifestyle around healthy practices builds a strong wall and foundation for your wellness. And if you wish to keep hypertension off the table, these positive habits can certainly be your weapon to keep it at bay.

1. Exercise for 30 minutes or more

In the study conducted by the CDC, they reveal that high blood pressure is more prevalent in children with obesity. This insight finds itself aligned with the American Heart Association’s recommendation to do a round of 30-minute exercises five days a week. When it comes to your heart, a healthy weight and regular physical activity are good indications that you’re doing your part to prevent health problems in the future.

2. Follow the DASH diet

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is a flexible eating plan developed by the

NIH. This heart-healthy diet is built on the practice of eating food that are:

  • low in sodium

  • low in saturated and trans fats

  • rich in minerals: potassium, magnesium, calcium, fiber, and protein

To start, invite more fruits and vegetables into your meals. And instead of fatty meats, fill your meal plans with poultry and fish. Go for oily or fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel rich in omega-3, which lowers blood pressure. There are also dietary supplements like OmegaMax that can fill in your need for fish oil.

OmegaMax is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help you maintain your cardiovascular system and support brain function to help your overall wellness.

3. Avoid salty food items

Though fatty fish is good for your heart, you may want to skip on salty dried fish and other snacks with MSG (monosodium glutamate). You’d want to limit your sodium intake to 1,500-2,300 milligrams per day because a moderate amount of salt still helps your body store water. But too much, the extra volume of water puts additional pressure on your arteries, elevating your blood pressure.

4. Learn to manage stress build-up

If you wish to keep your mind and body safe from unnecessary strain, stress management is an essential skill to learn. When you experience stress, your body responds by producing chemicals that raise your heart activity and tighten your blood vessels. So if you’re often in a state of anxiety, chances are you’re also overworking your heart. Save yourself from the extra work and learn healthy ways to relieve and manage your stress levels today. Some methods that have worked for others are soothing daily meditations and breathing exercises.

5. Schedule annual doctor visits

Maintaining your blood pressure can be a feat, especially if it has no visible warning signs. To help you stay on top of your health status, make it a point to schedule annual check-ups with your doctor. Setting doctor appointments is the simplest and most accurate way to diagnose hypertension. And they’ll even advise you on specific and practical activities you can do to keep your blood pressure normal.

Though the rewards of healthy habits are not often obvious, they’re a worthy investment for the years to come. So even in your early 20s or 30s, it’s essential to start making mindful choices for your health. Start putting your heart at the top of your priorities and have a handful of healthy habits that’ll buy you more brighter days down the line. — (MyPharma)

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