High blood pressure is considered one of the greatest health risks worldwide. You are by no means powerless when it comes to hypertension: Your lifestyle is very important.
Health risk: high blood pressure
Hypertension, better known as high blood pressure, is considered a disease of affluence. Almost every third German is affected by high blood pressure. Among the over 60-year-olds in Europe it is even more than 60 percent. Alarming numbers! Because even if hypertension is often played down, it can have serious consequences. High blood pressure is one of the main risk factors for vascular diseases , along with smoking, diabetes and dyslipidemia . And responsible for more and more deaths, such as heart attacks or strokes. The World Health Organization ( WHO ) describes hypertension as the world’s greatest health hazard .
Symptoms: how do I recognize hypertension?
There are no classic symptoms or signs of high blood pressure. For this reason, many sufferers often do not notice the disease for a long time. Do you get a red head when you are excited, do you feel unwell in stressful situations or do you have shortness of breath after climbing 3 flights of stairs? Then just have your blood pressure checked. Because even these seemingly harmless symptoms can sometimes indicate hypertension. High blood pressure often manifests itself as a general feeling of being unwell.
Prevent high blood pressure – how can I take precautions?
Prevention is important to protect you from vascular diseases caused by high blood pressure . From your mid-40s at the latest , it is advisable to have your blood pressure checked regularly. Then you can take direct, targeted countermeasures in the event of increased values and significantly reduce the risk of secondary diseases. 50 percent of heart attacks and strokes could be avoided if something were done in time to counteract excessive values.
Measure blood pressure – are my values too high?
Have you had your blood pressure measured and want to know if it’s too high? This is how the WHO classifies blood pressure values:
- Optimal blood pressure: below 120 to 80
- Normal blood pressure: 120-129 to 80-84
- High-normal blood pressure: 130-139 to 85-89
- Mild hypertension: 140-159 to 90-99
- Mean hypertension 160-179 to 100-109
- Severe hypertension over 180 to over 110
Lower blood pressure – what can I do against hypertension?
When it comes to high blood pressure, your lifestyle is particularly important. A good 90 percent of all cases of hypertension are closely related to lifestyle. Ask yourself:
- Do you eat unhealthily?
- Are you moving too little?
- Are you often stressed?
These are all proven factors that promote high blood pressure. If you turn these screws in a targeted manner, you can prevent high blood pressure or regulate slightly elevated levels downwards. In concrete terms this means:
smoking Smoking is pure poison for your body, increases the risk of cancer and also increases your blood pressure. So quitting smoking has nothing but benefits and should be a top priority for anyone who cares about their health.
- Lower blood pressure through diet
A healthy diet based on Mediterranean cuisine helps to lower blood pressure. Therefore, if you have hypertension, make sure you eat a balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and good fats. Meat is also allowed – but please in moderation and then in good quality. Class instead of mass is the motto. In addition, there should be little salt on your menu. Herbal tea and water are ideal thirst quenchers, as well as coffee and black tea in moderation.
- Reduce sugar
Obesity promotes high blood pressure. So try to cut back on sweets and other unhealthy snacks. That doesn’t mean you have to give it up completely. A piece of chocolate now and then is okay – it shouldn’t just be half a bar a day.
- Be careful with alcohol
Alcohol increases blood pressure and also makes you fat. Half a bottle of white wine has a good 300 kilocalories. If you only enjoy a glass of wine at the weekend instead of every day , it saves a lot of calories.
- Use less salt
Salt is always a focus in connection with high blood pressure. In fact, if you have hypertension, you should reduce your salt consumption to under 6g of salt per day . Incidentally, there is a particularly large amount of salt in ready meals and sausage products.
- Prevent high blood pressure with sport
Regular, moderate endurance training can prevent high blood pressure. Moderate sports such as walking, swimming or cycling are particularly suitable . If you have high blood pressure, it is best to consult with your doctor about which sport is best for you. In the beginning, however, a daily walk is often sufficient. The rule is: Every step counts!
- Don’t overdo it when training
If you suffer from high blood pressure and are untrained, you should start training slowly. If you overdo it, you risk secondary damage. A cardiologist can determine in which heart rate range you should exercise best if you have hypertension by measuring respiratory gases and blood gases as part of a stress test .
In addition, if you have high blood pressure, you should not reach for heavy weights. Maximum exertion can quickly overload your cardiovascular system. This also applies to jogging. Hypertension can quickly overload the circulatory system and joints.
- Conscious relaxation against high
blood pressure Constant stress increases your blood pressure. Today we don’t have the valves to let it off – that makes you ill in the long run. Therefore, try to find a mental balance , to relax in a targeted manner and not to get too excited all the time . Yoga, for example, is a wonderful way to switch off and calm down.
H ypertonia – support from health insurance
If you have high blood pressure, you can seek help from your health insurance company: Many health insurance companies subsidize , for example, smoking cessation programs, sports courses, nutritional advice and anti-stress seminars. It’s worth it: A long-term change in lifestyle is a sensible supplement to treatment with medication. You can even regulate values that are not too high to a normal level without medication.
Lower blood pressure with the DASH diet
The DASH diet is not a classic diet, but a change in diet aimed at lowering blood pressure .
The DASH diet includes:
- lots of fresh vegetables and fruit
- lean meats like poultry
- vegetable fats from oils, avocados and nuts
- low fat dairy products
- whole grain products
Salt is replaced with fresh herbs on the DASH diet, sweets and convenience products are taboo. Several studies have already shown that the DASH diet can actually have a positive effect on high blood pressure.