Blood pressure is determined by the volume of blood pumped by the heart and the resistance to the blood flow in the arteries, with narrowing arteries leading to higher blood pressure. Hypertension typically shows no outward signs except when a reading is taken, normal pressure is lower than 120/80 mm Hg, and high is above 130/80 mm Hg, anything between low and high is considered as elevated. This places persons in this category at risk of developing hypertension and associated health conditions if not managed carefully. Medication is available for hypertension treatment, but changing your lifestyle can contribute to lowering the risk and naturally reducing blood pressure levels. The following strategies can help to keep the whole family healthy.
Change the family mindset
There are various risk factors involved when someone is diagnosed, which can be managed and lowered naturally. High blood pressure is a highly heritable condition – There exists a high possibility that if one family member has hypertension that the other family members, being exposed to the same circumstances, might also be at risk. A good strategy is to educate the whole family on hypertension and how to manage the risk factors naturally.
When a family member is diagnosed with hypertension, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. In fact, it offers the entire family an opportunity to make a new beginning. This is the time to show what family means, to support the member being diagnosed by all agreeing on changes in diet, exercise, mental attitude, and habits with the added benefit that it can only improve the health of the entire family. If it is only the diagnosed member whose diet, exercise, and habits are changed, it becomes a very lonely struggle and challenging to implement.
Change the menu
Being diagnosed with hypertension doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy good food anymore, in fact, quite the opposite, you can eat more healthy and wholesome food that will boost your health and energy levels. From a family perspective, it is very important that everybody show their support for the menu changes and that they don’t complain. When you only alter the diet of the diagnosed member while everybody else continues eating all the “bad” foods which contributed to the condition, family meals can become a stressful event. The sufferer feels isolated and left out, but if the family buys into the new menu, it lifts the mood of the sufferer, reducing stress levels. Everybody’s health benefits by following a healthy diet. There is an adage that says, a problem shared is a problem halved, what better way to strengthen the family ties.
Burn the calories
Research has found that exercise offers excellent benefits in lowering blood pressure levels in people of all ages. There are many fun ways in which exercise can be structured, enabling all family members to participate, but try to follow the NHS recommendations on weekly exercise. Exercising together relieves the boredom that some experience when exercising on their own. Obesity is a major contributor to hypertension, and reducing your waistline helps to naturally lower the pressure. Playing sports or going for walks with your family can be a fun way of burning those calories together and help reduce everybody’s waistline.
Lower stress, relax more
Our fast-paced modern society contributes to people always on the run, constantly conscious of things which must be done at a hectic pace. This contributes to high-stress levels and a feeling that there is not enough time to get everything done. Research has found a link between stress levels and hypertension. To counter this, time must be set aside for relaxation, meditation, friends, and family.
Replace bad habits with good habits
Many people attempting to burn the candle at both ends acquire bad habits. This includes smoking, drinking too much alcohol, taking in too much caffeine, and overindulging on fast foods with high fat, sugar, and particularly sodium content (studies have linked high levels of dietary salt with increased blood pressure). It is crucial to acknowledge bad habits and make a conscious decision to change. Replacing bad habits with good ones offers a great strategy to improve the family’s health naturally.