Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. It is often referred to as a “silent killer” due to its lack of initial symptoms yet this condition can lead to long-term disease and complications.  Uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure which is responsible for many cases of death and disability. As a parent, it is important for us to take care of our health and make sure that we are there for our kids until such time that they can be independent.  Hypertension can be avoided by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise, the same regimen is recommended for those who want to manage their hypertension.

Here are some steps that you can follow to start your lifestyle change.

  1. Check your BMI (Body Mass Index).  BMI is the measure of fat based on the height and weight of a person, you may use
    this tool to determine if you are within normal weight, overweight or obese.  BMI calculators are available at your health clinic or online.
  2. Eliminate your bad habits like smoking and excessive alcohol drinking.
  3. Change your diet by avoiding fatty and salty food, or those with high level of preservatives.  But beware of crash or fad diet, they may do more damage than good.  It’s safe to get your 3 full meals per day following your food pyramid but its always best to consult your doctor or dietician especially for those who have been diagnosed with hypertension already.
  4. Regular Exercise or increase in physical activity. You don’t have to enroll in a gym class or a fitness center.  Physical activity may be as simple as walking, using the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, or cleaning the house.  It may also be a social
    activity like sports or dancing.  It is recommended that you spend at least 30 minutes on physical activity on most days of the week.
  5. Be consistent with your lifestyle change. Managing your health is a lifetime commitment.  Maintaining a healthy lifestyle for your family also ensures that your kids can enjoy a fit and nourishing life.