Recent studies have shown that roughly 75 million Americans – approximately one in three – live with high blood pressure. Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure is measured by taking pressure counts when the heart is contracted and relaxed, the former is known as systolic and the latter as diastolic. A healthy heart’s systolic pressure sits at around 140 mmHg, while a good diastolic pressure is around 40 mmHg.
High blood pressure can lead to a number of other complications if left untreated. Two leading causes of death in America – heart disease and stroke – have both been linked to hypertension. Shockingly, only about 54 percent of people diagnosed with high blood pressure are recorded as having it under control. Ya, that means over 30 million people are choosing to ignore a possible fatal illness. America spent over 48 billion dollars on hypertension related issues such as medication, missed days of work and health care services.
While medication is certainly available for those who need it, there are a slew of ways to lower your blood pressure without the need for a prescription. When it comes to having a healthy heart, being proactive is a great way to reduce or avoid complications involving hypertension all together. Here’s some great advice on maintaining a healthy blood pressure.
10. Weigh In (BMI)
Body weight is directly linked to hypertension; those suffering from obesity or even being just a little overweight are more likely to have high blood pressure than those sitting at a healthy body weight. Losing weight can seem overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be; for many, just losing even ten pounds can make enough of a difference that your blood pressure will remain in a safe zone.
If you are planning on losing weight through dieting and exercise, don’t try to lose it all at once and keep your goals realistic. Studies show that a healthy weight loss plan includes shedding between half-a-pound to two pounds a week. Start by aiming to lose about ten percent of your original weight. If you’re unsure whether or not you’re overweight, a quick body mass index (BMI) check and waist line measurement will let you know. Make sure to use both indicators as BMI checks can sometimes be misleading on their own.