The holidays can be a special season for quality time with friends and family, but with it comes lots of work, planning, and time. This on top of your normal day-to-day (work, errands, obligations, etc.) can make the holidays extra busy and extra stressful. For those living with hypertension, or high blood pressure, this can be problematic.
Thankfully there are plenty of ways to help manage your high blood pressure during the holidays. Read on to learn more.
Stress is known to send your body into fight or flight mode. Basically, this means that your cortisol and adrenaline levels are spiked and your body is on high alert. Overtime, this causes damage to your body as it’s not always meant to be in this state. These hormones cause your heart to beat at a faster pace and your blood vessels to constrict. The best way to combat this is to manage stress daily by exercising, setting boundaries with your schedule, and making sure you have time to decompress.
Stay on a Schedule
This is mostly geared towards your medication. It is so important that you keep your body regulated by continuing your prescribed medication as advised by your doctor. A consistent schedule will ensure you keep your medication habits in-tact.
Alcohol is known to increase your blood pressure, so it’s wise to limit consumption as much as possible. This can be done by following the suggested rule of no more than 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men. Or you can choose to remain abstinent and worry about one less thing.
Eat Healthy Foods
A healthy diet goes a long way for those who have hypertension. Although we know the holidays are the most inconvenient time to be restricting what you eat, your body will thank you. A great workaround is to eat before you go to events. That way, even if you do enjoy some of the decadent food, the amount you consume will be significantly decreased. You’ll still receive the brain satisfaction without all the bodily repercussions and guilt. It’s a win-win!
Lastly, it’s crucial to stay hydrated. This may sound elementary, but drinking water is one of the most neglected things we forget about when it comes to our health. Hydration helps to keep your blood pressure down by helping the heart not have to work as hard as it pumps blood throughout the body. A great rule of thumb to start out is the 8×8 rule: 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water a day.
In conclusion, although managing a condition such as hypertension during the holiday season can be difficult, it isn’t impossible. By applying these useful tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your holiday season without the added stress of your health. Interested in joining a hypertension study near you?
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