Managing high blood pressure
You should check your blood pressure at least once a year. Marginally elevated blood pressure may normalise when you lose weight, exercise more and reduce salt intake.
1. Eat a healthy diet – Avoid foods high in cholesterol and saturated fats such as animal fats, whole milk products, eggs, red meat such as beef and lamb, coconut milk and palm oil. Instead, choose lean meat, fish and low-fat dairy products and increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Cut back on salty foods as well.
2. Exercise regularly – It is important to exercise at least three times a week. Although there are many kinds of physical activities you could do, walking is one of the best forms of exercise to do. To find out which types of physical activities are suitable for you, check with your doctor.
3. Watch your weight – It has been proven that maintaining a healthy body weight reduces the risks of high blood pressure. To give you a good idea of whether you are keeping a healthy weight, refer to above table.
4. Quit smoking – Smoking can elevate the blood pressure and is also an independent risk factor for coronary artery disease and stroke.
5. Take it easy – To manage stress, engage in regular exercises. Adopt a balanced approach to work and family life. In addition, relax whenever possible to ease the tension whenever feelings of stress arise since stress may aggravate your blood pressure.
If these measures are not successful, then drug treatment maybe needed. However, once medicine has been started, it is essential to continue with the treatment, complemented by a healthy lifestyle. Treatment of hypertension for most people is life-long.