How to Diet and Exercise with Hypertension

Hypertension affects millions of people in the United States. Hypertension is defined as high blood pressure. It’s caused by a number of things, including a high sodium diet and the lack of exercise. How you eat and exercise is affected by this condition. Understanding this health problem is just as important as controlling it.

Regulate Sodium

A high sodium diet is one of the most important things to avoid when you have hypertension. Sodium causes hypertension by increasing blood pressure in your arteries. According to the American Heart Association, most people consume too much sodium in their diets. This unhealthy practice leads to heart related problems. It’s recommended that you regulate your sodium intake by not adding extra salt to your food. You can also limit your intake at the dinner table by removing salt shakers.

Increase Cardiovascular Exercises

Hypertension should not stop you from exercising. Exercise is one of the best ways to deal with this health problem, especially cardiovascular exercise. Cardiovascular exercise reduces hypertension by making your heart strong. It also increases the blood flow throughout your body. This healthy blood flow removes blockages in your arteries and provides more oxygen-rich blood to your heart. When your heart pumps efficiently, your hypertension decreases.

Walking is a great passive cardiovascular exercise you can do with hypertension. Your circulation improves throughout your body. You also lose weight at a natural and less stressful pace. Walking on a treadmill is also a good way to maintain hypertension. Most treadmills come with a heart rate monitor. You can use this to monitor your pulse and heart rate as you exercise. A low heart heart rate reduces hypertension.

Lose the Weight

Exercise and a proper diet benefits you by reducing your weight. Any extra pounds you carry can increase your hypertension by adding stress to your heart. It’s important to maintain a healthy weight by eating the right food, watching portion size and staying active. If you have abdominal weight, your hypertension may worsen. Abdominal fat also leads to other health problems, such as diabetes.

Eat the Right Foods

What you eat is just as important as how you eat. There are numerous foods that lower blood pressure. These foods also add beneficial vitamins and minerals to your diet. Lean protein, such as chicken and turkey, are excellent ways to lower your hypertension. Fresh vegetables and fruits have many nutrients that influence a healthy cardiovascular system. Most fruits and vegetables you eat are high in fiber. Fiber is known to lower high blood pressure and promote a strong heart. Figs, apples, beans and spinach are great foods to eat.

Drink Water

Water is an essential component of lowering hypertension, replenishing fluids after exercise and losing weight while dieting. Water provides your body with hydration. Hydration affects your diet by regulating the sodium and potassium in your body. When these nutrients are in a normal range, your blood pressure remains low. However, it increases when you lack proper hydration. Your heart has to pump a lot harder to circulate your blood. This causes your arteries to constrict and raise blood pressure. Keep hydrated by drinking 8 glasses of water each day.

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