With India still silently fighting the war against COVID-19 and OMICRON strains, it’s no secret that most of us live a hectic lifestyle. The increasing stressors, poor work-life balance and growing reliance on take-out meals have taken a toll on our bodies and overall wellness. Due to our overindulgence in harmful habits like using coffee and alcohol to compensate for low-energy levels and anxiety, hypertension is on the rise.
Surveys have found that 63% of total deaths in India are due to non-communicable diseases. Of this 27% is attributed to cardiovascular conditions, which affect over 45% of people between the ages of 40-69 years. Furthermore, having high blood pressure makes you more susceptible to COVID-19, potentially exposing you to severe illnesses or a fatal end.
Hypertension & Its Effects on the Body
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a condition when your blood flows through blood vessels with more force than usual. In the long run, it could damage your arteries and blood vessel walls. And, when left untreated, it could lead to complications or even death.
Unfortunately, high blood pressure could continue to damage your body for years before any diagnosable symptoms appear. In the long-term, uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause disabilities, stroke or heart attack.
When untreated, the following are the long-term effects of hypertension.
● Hardened Arteries: Damaged artery walls collect deposits of cholesterol from the bloodstream, slowly reducing the blood flow over time
● Heart Failure: Narrowed arteries overburden your vital organs, inevitably leading to heart failure
● Kidney Damage: It damages the arteries leading to the kidney and its vessels, causing the organ to lose its ability to filter out waste
● Chest Pains: This could be a sign of heart attack or reduced blood flow to the heart
● Arrhythmias: The blockage of arteries causes an irregular heartbeat
You might also experience other health problems like peripheral artery disease (PAD), sexual dysfunction, aneurysm, dementia, sleep apnea, blurred vision, and more.
5 Ways to Prevent Hypertension
With treatment and an improved lifestyle, you can significantly reduce the risks of its life-threatening complications. Cultivate the following habits to keep yourself and your family safe from the clutches of hypertension.
1. Follow a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy meal and snack over the usual ordered in junk can drastically improve your health. Consult a dietician or research the best food sources rich in potassium, fibre, and protein. While doing so, avoid consuming food made with high sodium and saturated fats.
2. Engage in Physical Activities
It may sound daunting, but exercising daily for 30 minutes 5 days a week can lower high blood pressure. By adding the discipline of daily physical activities and coming down to a healthy weight, you can reduce the effects of hypertension. Experts recommend 2.5 hours of exercising every week through activities like brisk walking or bicycling.
3. Consume Alcohol Wisely
Though alcohol has some health benefits, the negative aspects could outweigh the positive if consumed frequently. When consumed frequently, the negative aspects of alcohol can outweight the positive. If drank in moderation, it could potentially reduce your blood pressure. However, excessive consumption can raise your blood pressure and reduce the effectiveness of medications.
4. Quit or Avoid Smoking
If you haven’t already started smoking, its a habit you might want to avoid. While it could expose you to different ailments, smoking can increase your blood pressure and cause heart attacks or strokes. For those who already smoke, seek help and learn to harness these habits to lower risks for heart or lung diseases.
5. A Healthy Sleep Schedule
Getting 8 hours of sleep daily can help keep your heart and blood vessels healthy. Receiving inadequate sleep can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart diseases and strokes. If you struggle with sleep disorders, seek professional support to remedy the matter.
The best part? These habits can tackle other underlying health issues and help you lead a healthier and happier lifestyle. Adding a little bit of discipline to your routine can do wonders for patients of hypertension and other diseases!