I feel that having high blood pressure at any age is a concern, but as a senior, the condition can be much more difficult to manage – but it can be successfully managed.
Things like as poor eating habits, an increase in stress and a lack of physical activity are all common culprits leading to hypertension or high blood pressure.
And what makes high blood pressure even more worrisome is there are no symptoms that go along with the condition so by the time it has been discovered, damage has already occurred to the heart or brain.
This is why high blood pressure is referred to as the silent killer.
Dealing with high blood pressure in your retirement years is no different than at any other time of your life, as the key ingredients to fighting this condition includes a healthy diet, regular exercise and better management of your stress levels.
What’s most important is that you are more aggressive in your treatment program as the effects are more severe and can lead to an untimely death. Heart disease is still the number one killer around the world, and it’s primarily caused by factors like chronic high blood pressure and obesity.
I was really surprised to find that approximately 60 percent of seniors over the age of 60 have high blood pressure which, in my opinion, is way too high and since it comes under the heading of a lifestyle disease then it can be greatly improved upon.
Yet having high blood pressure is not a normal part of getting older if you follow a healthy lifestyle.
What is even more disturbing is that only about half the baby boomers know they have high blood pressure and even less is actively treating the condition. For these reasons, it’s really important you have your numbers checked regularly either by your doctor, a clinic or even with your own machine at home. It is an easy thing to learn how to do and could well save your life.
If you do happen to have high blood pressure, you can easily manage and control it with these 6 simple lifestyle changes:
1. Healthy eating patterns including lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean proteins. Limit fats, saturated fats and cholesterol. Cut processed foods to a bare minimum and severely limit takeaway meals.
2. Reduce salt and sodium in your diet. If you enjoy seasoning your food, use fresh herbs instead. Watch processed foods as these contain higher levels of salt.
3. Get up and get going. Be physically active as this has the dual benefit of keeping your weight down and lowering hypertension. If you can’t do cardio, try yoga, walking, swimming and some stretching. In fact, I recommend getting a personal trainer to write you a program to suit your current physical condition.
4. Make sure you get your weight in check. This will come with clean eating and exercising regularly. Being overweight puts you at a collision with high blood pressure.
5. Limit alcohol. Some doctors may say it’s okay to drink in moderation, which is one drink for women and two drinks for men each day.
6. Avoid nicotine. Smoking has so many detrimental effects on the body, two of them being the hardening of arteries and the injuring of blood vessels. Both of these put you more at risk for high blood pressure.
Making these lifestyle changes in your senior years can be the most difficult time since you’re probably undergoing many changes at once. You may have downsized to a smaller home, you may be suffering from other chronic medical conditions and you could also be caring for an ailing spouse.
With so much stress in other areas of your life, you may find it’s easier to fall back into the slump of eating comfort foods and having a sedentary life. Yet this lifestyle will only lead to continued high blood pressure, among other medical conditions.
So consider, that by making these worthwhile changes today, you will be helping yourself in all areas of your life. When you monitor what you eat and get regular daily physical exercise, you are at a lower risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, cancer and other lifestyle diseases.
Make these wise choices and you’ll also have a healthy mental attitude, in addition to boosted energy levels and much greater immunity. It’s never too late to start making healthy changes for yourself and not fall victim to high blood pressure, which doesn’t have to be a part of growing older.
Having trouble getting started by yourself? Then phone a friend. Get a small group together of people with similar problems. This will help motivate you to keep going on the path to a new and better you.