Winter is fun and frolic for most people as it brings excitement about Christmas, New Year, and vacations. But those chilly breezes and cool air may trigger a bunch of diseases.
While we look forward to being dressed up in our winter finery, we cannot ignore that winter season has an adverse side. A sudden drop in climate can bring health issues like high blood pressure, arthritis, heart problems, cold, and flu. Hence it is equally important to take care of yourself along with enjoying the winters. Blood pressure is a widespread problem faced by millions of people globally. In this article, we are going to talk about “How to control high blood pressure in winters.”
Blood pressure is defined as the force exerted by blood in the arteries as it circulates. It is divided into systolic (contraction of the heart) and diastolic (when the heart is filling). 120/80 mmHg is the ideal blood pressure.
Hypertension or high blood pressure: When the blood pressure reading consistently ranges above 130-140/90-100 mm/Hg, it is considered high blood pressure or hypertension.
Hypotension or low blood pressure: A blood pressure reading lower than 90/60 mm Hg is considered to be low blood pressure.
High blood pressure is generally asymptomatic; that’s why it is called ‘silent killer.’ Once the blood pressure reaches its peak, symptoms emerge out. The individual may experience the given below symptoms and may seek medical help;
Blood pressure is generally high in winter and lower in summer. This happens because the low temperature can cause the narrowing of blood vessels, which increases blood pressure. When the blood vessels are narrowed, it required more pressure to force blood. Other reasons for hypertension in the winter season may include inactive lifestyle, weight gain, increased salt consumption, and constrained blood vessels because of fall in temperature. Elderly people are more susceptible to temperature-related variations in blood pressure.
1. Developing a healthy diet
A heart-healthy diet plays a vital part in reducing blood pressure. It is also crucial for managing high blood pressure and decreasing the risk of complications such as heart attack, stroke, or heart disease. A heart-healthy diet in winters emphasizes food that includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Common seasonal fruits and vegetables that can help to ease blood pressure in winters are carrots, reddish, methi, spinach, and beetroot.
2. Exercise regularly
Lack of physical and sedentary lifestyle is one of the major reasons for the rise in blood pressure. Regular exercise such as walking, running, or any form of aerobic exercise can help to reduce high blood pressure. However, it is mandatory to be consistent because blood pressure can rise if the person stops exercising. A person may also exercise while doing simple things such as
3. Managing a healthy weight
We all know that obesity can cause tons of chronic diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart diseases. Losing weight is one of the most effective lifestyles to control hypertension. If someone is obese or overweight, losing weight by a healthy diet and regular exercise might reduce blood pressure.
4. Add more potassium and reduce salt intake
Keeping the sodium content low is vital for reducing high blood pressure. For healthy blood pressure, increase potassium in the diet. Potassium has a dual impact on our body: firstly, it lessens the effect of salt in our system, and secondly, it eases pressure in the blood vessels.
Potassium is naturally available in:
5. Quit smoking
Quitting smoking is good for overall health. Smoking can cause an immediate increase in blood pressure and increases heart rate. The chemicals present in the tobacco can increase the blood pressure by damaging blood vessel walls causing narrowing of the artery. People who quit smoking live a healthier life compared to those who don’t.
6. Manage stress
Stress may contribute to high blood pressure. Take some time to eliminate the stressors or try to cope up with them in a healthier way. Practice deep breathing, take a walk, read books, do fun-loving activities, practice gratitude, etc.
7. Eat some dark chocolate
Dark chocolate and cocoa contain flavonoids, which can cause dilation of blood vessels. Eating a small amount of chocolate helps to lower the blood pressure.
8. Get sufficient sleep
Blood pressure can be negatively affected if people don’t sleep well. People who experience sleep deprivation have a higher risk of increased blood pressure. Therefore a peaceful sleep is a must to manage the blood pressure.
9. Measure your blood pressure regularly
Always keep track of the blood pressure level. If the blood pressure is very high constantly, contact your doctor about the possible preventions that work best for you.
Medical Tests and Health Checkups Available At House of Diagnostics (HOD).