High blood pressure is known as the silent killer because it shows no symptoms. About 30% of American adults suffer from high blood pressure, and some without even knowing so. There are common risk factors for high blood pressure that you can watch for to keep blood pressure down.
Common Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure
Risk factors for high blood pressure can include situations that you can control and ones you cannot, like genetics. Keeping an eye on each of these and knowing what you can do to lessen the risk can help you avoid heart disease, heart attack, or stroke.
Family History and Age
Unfortunately, if you have a long line of family members with high blood pressure, chances are your odds of having it are high. You can be active and eat well, but still be predisposed to a greater risk of high blood pressure.
Additionally, with age, your risk of high blood pressure grows. Blood vessels tend to lose their elasticity as we age, reducing the ability of blood to flow through them. With less blood flowing, blood pressure increases.
Both of these are common risk factors for high blood pressure but can be monitored to avoid it from becoming life threatening.
Lack of Sufficient Exercise
Not getting enough exercise is one of the most common risk factors for high blood pressure. Exercising at least 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity or 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week is recommended to stay overall healthy.
Exercising helps to keep a healthy blood flow and heart beat. It also reduces the risk of obesity, which has been tied to high blood pressure.
Regular exercise can be done in 20-30 minutes a day and helps to keep your heart beating strong and your cardiovascular system in tip-top shape.
A proper diet is essential to keeping a healthy blood pressure reading. Not eating well is especially prevalent in the United States, since we have so many fast food options.
However, eating foods high in salt, fat, and cholesterol can lead to high blood pressure. Plaque builds up from too much sodium prohibits blood flow and is common in the U.S.
Eating lean meat, whole grains, and vegetables can help to reduce the risk of high blood pressure. Also, cooking at home will help you to control what ingredients are added to your food and it will be fresher.
Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Various studies suggest that drinking a glass of wine can help to decrease high blood pressure. While this may be true, drinking any alcoholic drink excessively can cause more damage than high blood pressure.
Too much alcohol can lead to stroke, arrhythmia, and heart failure. It can also speed up your heart rate and cause a heart attack.
Drinking excessively is unhealthy for your mental health as well, since it can lead to suicide and depression. Try to cut your drinking down to a minimum to help your heart be stronger.
Being aware of these common risk factors for high blood pressure can help you to keep track of your blood pressure and maintain a healthy level.