Hypertension Prevention Before It Starts
You cannot completely eliminate the risk of development of hypertension by lifestyle modifications. But changes in lifestyle can significantly decrease your risk of developing high blood pressure. Adoption of healthy lifestyle is important not only for treatment of hypertension but for prevention of high BP as well.
Lifestyle modifications which can prevent or delay development of high BP include
- Weight reduction:If you are obese reduce your weight and aim for a target body mass index (BMI) of 18.5 to 24.9. Approximate systolic blood reduction with 10 kg decrease in weight is about 5–20 mmHg.
- DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan: Your diet should be rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products and low in saturated and total fat. Approximate systolic blood reduction with DASH diet eating is about 8-14 mmHg.
- Limit your salt intake to less than 1,600-milligram sodium daily. Reducing salt in diet is equivalent to a single drug therapy. Approximate systolic blood reduction with decrease in salt intake is about 2-8 mmHg.
- Do regular exercises or any other physical activity (moderate physical activity for 30 minutes on most days of the week is also adequate). Approximate systolic blood reduction with increase in physical activity is about 4-9 mmHg.
- Limit alcohol intake (men to less than 2 drinks per day and women to less than 1 drink per day). Approximate systolic blood reduction with decrease in alcohol intake is about 2-4 mmHg.
Lifestyle modifications have been shown to decrease high blood pressure, prevent or delay development of hypertension, and even increase the effectiveness of drugs for treatment of hypertension. If you adopt two (or more) lifestyle modifications it can achieve better results for control of high blood pressure.
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