Hypertension, often touted as the silent killer, is common in 1 of 5 Indian adults as per statistics. It is becoming increasingly common among the younger population due to factors such as stress and resultant anxiety. Data indicates that more than half of the Indians between 15 to 49 years of age with hypertension are not aware of their health condition and awareness is needed on the lifestyle changes they must make to avert the risk.
Hypertension is defined as blood pressure that is constantly higher than the recommended level of 140/90 mm Hg. Given that it often shows no obvious symptoms makes the condition a preventable risk factor for other problems such as cardiovascular diseases.On World Hypertension Day, here are some tips you can follows to keep anxiety and stress at bay.
Set a routine
Routines might get mundane but also have multiple benefits.They increase efficiency and eliminate the anxiety surrounding what comes next apart from leaving time for any eventualities that may arise. They offer the flexibility that is needed to deal with situations and prevent stress.It is important to harness the power of both the mind and body to avert anxiety and stress.
Make sure to eat a healthy and balanced diet. When consumed in the right manner, food is like medicine for the body and the foundation of sound mental and physical health. Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds, and grains. They carry antioxidants which can help prevent stress. Avoid processed and unhealthy food as much as possible.
Drink enough water
The body needs adequate amount of water for most of its functions. Make sure to drink at least 4 to 6 litres of water every day. When you are dehydrated, it becomes difficult to prevent stressors. The body constantly sends out warning signs when there is lack of enough water such as dehydration and physical pain.
Bring a balance
While a little stress is alright for the body, too much of it can create an imbalance and raise your blood pressure over time. The body must then work doubly hard to restore this balance which can become another factor for stress. Thus, it is important to stay calm and bring balance by doing what makes you feel happy. Good sleep keeps the mind awake and helps the body to recuperate and functions at its best.
It is imperative to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. This helps in releasing feel good hormones or endorphins which can keep stress and anxiety at bay. Sit upright and work on your posture.
In our fast-paced lives today, we do not take time to stop and rewind which often leads to stress. When this accumulates, it can cause an increase in blood pressure and exacerbate our anxiety levels. By following these simple lifestyle changes, you can prevent this and ensure that the body and mind stay healthy.
Dr KK Aggarwal is President of CMAAO and HCFI