May is high blood pressure awareness month, and on this blog I have touched on stress more than once. Stress and high blood pressure are closely linked, and high BP can be harmful to your health. Today we’ll discuss the basics of what one’s blood pressure is, what that means for one’s health, and some basic
rules of thumb to avoid developing high blood pressure.
Your blood pressure is exactly what it sounds like – the amount of pressure acting upon your arteries and veins by your heart as it pumps your blood. High blood pressure [Arterial Hypertension] is a risk because it places strain on the walls of your arteries and veins and can contribute to a wide variety of ills, anything from migraines to heart attacks. High blood pressure is also a factor that increases your risk of stroke later in life.
Stress is something I’ve talked about on this blog from time to time, and is generally a terrible thing for your body. Today’s high stress, hurly-burly lifestyle means that a great many Americans are more stressed than is healthy for them, and your blood pressure is one of the first things that gets worse
as you become more stressed. So try to relax! Some great activities to lower high blood pressure are:
- If you smoke, stop! Smokers generally have a much higher BP than non-smokers, and it can also cause cancer.
- Limit your sodium and alcohol intake! Having a diet rich in salt can – you guessed it – raise your BP.
- Really, relax. Take a moment for yourself during your day, grab a book, or go for a walk outside when the weather is nice…
- Maintain a healthy weight/lifestyle. Small changes in your day-to-day activities can improve your blood pressure as well as your overall health.