What habits lead to high blood pressure and how to prevent them?

Do not develop hypertension

There are many differences that make we human unique in our own ways, but there is one thing that almost we all share in common is our habits, especially poor habits that affect our health in a big way. It won’t be wrong if it is said that these tendencies are the ones to be blamed for some critical health complications like obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. These are some problems that are affecting our society is a large way and all of it can be blamed on poor lifestyle habits.

These choices of we humans have become so deeply ingrained habits that these are no more mere just a coincidence, but are now our learned behaviour. Talking about hypertension or high blood pressure, it can be simply stated as the abnormal increases in the pressure of our own blood on our blood vessels and arteries. This is not just a habitual coherence, but a severe health issue as it has all the means and way to lead us to heart attacks, stroke and even death in the worst case scenario.

In order to get rid of such habits that propagate hypertension, let’s understand what these habits are and what should we do to ensure that we do not develop hypertension?

Blood Pressure or what we commonly call BP is the pressure that the heart exerts while pumping blood through our arteries and vessels to reach out to various organs in the body. 120/180 mmHg is what is medically considered normal, and anything below or above is low or high BP.

Someone experiencing constant headaches and dizziness continuously for several days and weeks that further leads to the feeling of nausea is the first sign of constantly rising BP, what we call high blood pressure. Such a condition is extremely dangerous for our health and immediate measures should be taken to bring it back to normal range. What causes this to happen is as mentioned here:

  • Poor dietary choices

Any diet that is high in salt or sodium, sugar, saturated and trans fats and processed foods are the primary causes of dietary reasons for high blood pressure. All of these contributes to the causes of obesity and being overweight. These kinds of foods lead to develop bad cholesterol levels inside the body that block or choke the arteries and blood vessels forcing our heart to exert higher pressure to pass blood through them and thereby causing the walls of the arteries and blood vessels to damage in the long run. It is a serious cause of health concern that often leads to severe health complication and even death.

We very well know that good nutrition is instrumental for good and proper health. Making healthy food choices and avoiding the above-mentioned food hold the key to lower blood pressure and keep our heart and other organs healthy, fit and function optimally.

  • Leading a sedentary lifestyle

We humans are slaves of our laziness. We don’t like to do anything that will make us tried and exhausted. At times, we are so lazy that we don’t even get up from our chairs and couches to fetch a glass of water to drink. But, on the contrary, have you ever imagined what damage such habits of ours could do to us apart from being termed ‘lazy’. We are propelling our body with all that it needs to develop high blood pressure. Not getting enough or not participating in enough physical activity is one of the prime reasons for our lifestyle for developing the problems associated with blood pressure.

We need to be active and moving. Going to the gym is good, but even the slightest or activity chances like walking down to the nearby grocery, or taking the pets out and even climbing a couple of staircases can do the trick. It is not only good to keep us away from hypertension but is also good for our circulatory system and the heart.

  • Not getting enough sleep

Not getting good and enough sleep could be attributed to many reasons like suffering from diseases, medication and alike. But there are many who feels that sleeping is not as necessary and is all waste of time. There are also some who knowingly keeps wake and avoids sleeping. In the long run, doing so, we are depriving our body of the rest it needs to recharge and rejuvenate. It increase the risk of developing high BP.

Sleep is important for the body. There are a lot of things our body does when we are sleeping. Ensuring good sleep keeps us physically as well as mentally healthy and refreshed. There are fewer chances of developing stress, mental tensions and laziness.

  • High levels of stress

Stress is something that is almost impossible to avoid and a little of it is not that bad. But, constant and high stress can cause more damage to our entire wellbeing. It contributes to increased blood pressure and it can also initiate more behavioural patterns that can increase blood pressure like poor dietary choices, smoking, alcohol consumption and an inactive lifestyle.

Practice all means of stress relief on a regular basis. Yoga and meditation are the best possible means. Get social, move out with kids and family or friends, go for a movie, getting involved in social or community activities are some great ways to get stress relieved.

There are many other lifestyle things that are associated with high blood pressure, but they are out of the above four factors. Like obesity, developing high cholesterol, drinking of too much alcohol and smoking tobacco and alike. Hypertension is a lifestyle-induced health hazard and can easily be controlled and avoided if we seriously take necessary steps and decide to live a clean and healthy life.


This article has been contributed by Sheela Seharawat, Dietitian & Founding Member, Diet Clinic. Practising since 2006 as a registered dietician under IDA, Sheela Seharawat is a motivational speaker, an expert dietician and a strong believer of healthy and motivated living.

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