Has your beloved parent or grandparent recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure? Do you want to help him avoid the risks of heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease that come along as a result of untreated high blood pressure?
Of course, there are many effective medications that treat this condition, also known as hypertension. But many doctors will recommend lifestyle changes as a first line of defense. Some lucky blood pressure patients will be able to lower their blood pressure just by making a few changes. Admittedly, these changes are big, but making them doesn’t just lower blood pressure. Changing the way a senior eats, exercises, and copes with stress can lead to a longer, healthier life altogether.
Here are the top three ways seniors can lower blood pressure through life adaptations:
Increasing exercise strengthens the heart muscle. A stronger heart pumps blood more effectively, taking stress off the arteries. When the arteries don’t have to work so hard, blood pressure drops.
Of course, that’s not where the benefits of exercise stop. Exercise also improves mood and outlook, staves off depression, and keeps lungs healthy. Exercise helps seniors maintain a healthy weight and prevent obesity. And losing weight can be critical to controlling blood pressure in the obese. If your senior has difficulty finding the right motivation to get exercise, an elderly care professional, who comes to mom or dad’s home, can help him get moving by suggesting a walk or a workout.
The low-sodium DASH diet
Dieticians and other medical experts have developed the DASH diet to help people lower their blood pressure with changes to diet. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The DASH diet asks blood pressure patients to push whole grains, vegetables, fresh fruits, and eat small amounts of dairy, and six ounces or fewer a day of lean animal protein, preferably steamed fish or boiled eggs.
The DASH diet includes foods that are naturally low in sodium. But to reap the benefits, the patient must also refrain from adding a lot of salt to food. Eating whole foods, like raw or steamed vegetables and fruit, cuts sodium from the diet. Blood pressure patients are also encouraged to abstain from processed foods which tend to be very high in sodium. Elderly care professionals can help your senior stick to the DASH diet by bringing in the right groceries and cooking tasty meals that adhere to the guidelines.
Smoking tobacco raises blood pressure in two different ways. The nicotine in tobacco elevates both blood pressure and heart rate during the act of smoking. Smoking also encourages the development of plaque in the arteries. Clogged arteries lead to long-term problems with blood pressure.
Quitting cigarettes isn’t just one of the best things your senior can do to lower blood pressure. It’s one of the best ways to improve overall health. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. To put that another way, if you want to keep living, quit smoking.
In conclusion, many people diagnosed with high blood pressure could achieve safe levels of blood pressure with a few lifestyle changes. Of these changes, the most important are exercise, diet, and avoidance of tobacco. While these changes may be tough to implement, the rewards are lower blood pressure, a stronger heart, clearer lungs, and the prospect of a long and healthy old age.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elderly Care in St. Peters, MO please contact the caring staff at Autumn Home Care, LLC today at 636-448-9347.
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