Living in America, it seems that everyone has high blood pressure.
Between the constantly moving culture, the high-stress environment at work and the over-salted, over-processed food in the U. S., it is no wonder that one in three adults has high blood pressure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is one of many health problems that can lead to heart disease.
Blood pressure measures how much force is placed on the heart’s walls.
When blood pressure gets too high, the amount of force on the heart’s walls weakens the heart, raising the risk of heart disease.
There are many factors that play into high blood pressure, just as there are many that play into heart disease.
Hypertension causes vary from obesity to diet to genetics.
The CDC lists four main categories of hypertension causes.
Conditions, behavior, heredity and sodium all play a major role in developing high blood pressure, according to the CDC’s website.
Knowing the causes can lead to prevention.
To prevent hypertension, the CDC suggests eating a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight and be physically active. Although all three of those are difficult in college, it is possible.
When choosing what to eat for lunch or dinner, do not always pick the same greasy chicken fingers and French fries.
Mix it up by getting a salad, a wrap or even pasta occasionally.
Having a colorful plate and mixture of the various food groups are a good way to maintain a healthy weight and diet.
The two tend to go hand-in-hand. However, staying physically active is also a necessity in keeping a healthy heart and normal blood pressure.
Staying physically active does not necessarily mean going to Ship Rec twice a day, seven days a week.
But, there are steps that can keep the heart rate up and the blood pressure down.
For example, walk or bike to campus instead of drive.
Despite the cold, walking is a simple way to raise the heart rate and get a little bit of aerobic exercise.
Waking up early and doing jumping jacks or running in place is a great way to wake up and get a little bit of exercise.
Everyone should strive to eat better and stay active, but now there is a better incentive.
According to healthfinder.gov, blood pressure readings should be done at least every two years beginning at age 18.
Get your blood pressure checked today.