With age, people tend to become more susceptible to various ailments and disorders. Unfortunately, this is due to the fact that aging typically weakens the immune system for many of us, consequently leading to a higher risk of illness.
One of the most common conditions affecting the elderly is high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a lifestyle disease whereby blood flows through the body’s vessels at a higher rate than normal. The continuous and consistent flow of blood at these high pressures can be fatal as it can lead to a heart attack.
High blood pressure is a silent killer, as the condition does not exhibit any symptoms to the untrained eye. Additionally, the early stages of the disease often go undetected. Furthermore, there is no clear-cut cure for high blood pressure. However, with a little patience and practice, you can control the condition and begin to regain control over your life. Here are some suggestions that may help keep your blood pressure at bay.
The expression “you are what you eat” is not far from the truth, as it is a scientific fact that the types of food you eat have a direct impact on your general health. Medical experts suggest that fatty food and other foods high in cholesterol cause high blood pressure. As fats clog up and coat the blood vessels, the heart works harder to pump blood throughout the body.
Healthy eating involves consuming more fruits and vegetables. It also involves drinking lots of water and fresh fruit juice. If you want one rule to keep your blood pressure under control, it would be to avoid foods with an excessive amount of salt and sodium.
Plenty of Exercise
Being active is one of the best ways to control your blood pressure. Routine exercise helps to keep the body relaxed while loosening up any constricted blood vessels. Regular exercise also helps to burn off excess fat and calories.
You don’t need to be an athlete to lower your blood pressure either. Walking, jogging, cycling, swimming and even dancing for at least 30 minutes a day can lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). To put this into perspective, limiting alcohol intake lowers blood pressure by 2 to 4 mm Hg, while reducing the sodium in your diet can reduce blood pressure by 2 to 8 mm Hg, making exercise one of the most effective ways to lower blood pressure. As always, be sure to talk to your doctor about developing an exercise program that works with your health needs.
Watch Your Weight
An increase in weight consequently leads to a rise in blood pressure. Being obese or overweight has a direct connection to high blood pressure. Overweight people often have problems breathing and this leads to an increase in blood pressure too! Make a conscious effort to shed a few pounds here or there when possible to keep your blood pressure down.
Adjust Your Life
A diagnosis of high blood pressure often calls for a change in your lifestyle. Excessive alcohol consumption and too much junk food can cause your blood pressure to spike. While alcohol may be good for digestion, make sure to enjoy it in moderation to avoid increasing your risk of high blood pressure as well as other ailments.
Don’t Forget to Visit the Doctor
There is no better way to take control and stay on top of your blood pressure than by making routine trips to your doctor. Your physician can recommend supplements and medication that can help keep your blood pressure in line, while offering advice on how to keep your condition in check and get on the right track.
Nine in ten Americans are expected to develop high blood pressure by the age of 65. Another thing that could help your blood pressure is reducing stress by considering a move to one of the senior living communities offered by Concordia Lutheran Ministries. Our caring staff works to make a real difference in the lives of our residents, providing them with the attention needed to help them lead a healthier and happier way of life. Discover all the ways our quality care can make a difference and schedule a tour of a Concordia location near you.
There is always a LOT happening at Concordia! Would you like to stay up-to-date with our news and events? Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter here.