According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, high blood pressure (hypertension) is a common condition, affecting one out of every three people. That is about 75 million people! The condition is characterized by a blood pressure measurement of 140/90 mmHg or higher. A measurement between 120/80 and 139/89 mmHg means you are at risk (prehypertension). Unmanaged, high blood pressure increases your cardiovascular risk. Through diet, exercise and stress management, you can reduce your risk for heart disease and heart attack or stroke.
Here are three tips for better heart health.
Eating for heart health does not have to be boring, especially when two of the healthiest diets, the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet allow for so much variety. They emphasize the foods you have always been told to eat: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy. Equally, both the Mediterranean Diet and DASH Diet are low in red meat, sugar and sodium, which means they are good for your ticker. Unlike trendy diets, these diets are incredibly balanced, making them excellent lifestyle choices that are easy to adopt.
Here is a look at two studies addressing the potential to reduce cardiac risk:
Mediterranean: A 2018 study in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that for people at high cardiovascular risk, the incidence of major cardiovascular events was lower among those assigned to a Mediterranean diet, supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts than among those assigned to a reduced fat diet.
DASH: A 1997 study in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods and with reduced saturated and total fat can substantially lower blood pressure. The DASH diet offers an additional nutritional approach to preventing and treating hypertension.
The benefits of exercising surpass the numbers on the scale. Individuals who aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or a combination of both may reduce their risk of heart disease. That is according to the American Heart Association. Find exercises you enjoy (e.g., hiking, biking, walking, strength training) and that are sustainable (that you can do year ‘round). Make exercise a priority by scheduling it in your calendar and enabling notifications on your phone.
Heart-Healthy Stress Management
Some psychological stress may unavoidable, sure, but learning to effectively manage constant stress is crucial for optimal health. Stress management techniques can reduce not only your risk for heat disease but also your risk for depression. Simple things such as taking a warm bath with a few drops of lavender essential oil, meditating or practicing relaxing yoga poses, or spending time on a favorite hobby can give you a much-needed break from life’s stressors. Also, try unplugging at least once a day, especially before bed. Use the time to journal or read.
Founded in 2013, Redirect Health is committed to efficiently delivering the best health care to the most people by removing unnecessary administration and waste, along with streamlining care to create positive change. Serving all 50 states, Redirect Health offers a variety of healthcare solutions for individuals, families and businesses. Find a solution that works for you now by calling Redirect Health at 888-407-7928.