Smoking and chronic alcohol drinking are amongst the poorest lifestyle choices and they are responsible for the ballooning cases of hypertension around the globe. Study shows that unhealthy lifestyle behaviors can increase risk of death up to 5 times. Scientists found out a disturbing fact: the people who are falling to prey to hypertension are getting younger and younger these years. The prevalence of this “Silent Killer Disease” in young population has stepped up by 20%. As early as 20s, a person can be diagnosed with high blood pressure.
Hypertension related to poor lifestyle choice can also be caused by chronic stress, overwork, heavy intake of junk foods and addiction to drugs.
- Chronic stress. Anxiety and stress have long been associated to hypertension but as to how they impinge on health, no one is really sure. Persistent rise in blood pressure is caused by the elevation of stress hormones in the body namely, adrenaline and cortisol.
How it is relieved?
– Do not drink alcohol as a form of stress reliever. It actually adds stress.
– Do not live up to other people’s demands and expectations.
– Take breathing exercise.
– Follow the RRM – Rest, Relax and Meditate.
– Perform yoga.
– Pamper self. Have your hair done, or take a massage.
– Set realistic goals.
- Overwork. Long hours of work are linked to hypertension, study revealed. In a particular study at the University of
- California in 2001, people who worked more than 40 hours a week are reported to have raised blood pressure. The percentage risk is much higher to people who work 51 hours and more a week, 29%. American and Japanese workers are the most vulnerable groups for this category. The Japanese word “Karoshi” means sudden death from work.
If you are currently working for long hours, this doesn’t however mean that you have to quit your job. The following are some ways on how to make control of an overwork life.
– Take rest periods or naps during break time.
– Establish good working relationship among employees.
– Manage stress.
– Do not smoke.
– Keep a healthy diet while at work. Make a home-made lunch instead of going to fast food chains.
– Keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water.
– Avoid heat stress. Stay clear from humid, hot environment.
- Heavy intake of junk foods. Eating junk foods has now become an epidemic of hypertension. This may answer the question as to why victims of raised blood pressure are getting any younger. Hypertension in young adults is directly attributed to the high content of sodium and empty calories in junk foods. In addition to sodium, junk foods are high in fat, sugar and have low nutritional value. Prevention of hypertensive episodes in children entails the proactive role of parents. Find out how parents can take down junk foods from kid’s favorite food list.
– Read the labels. Choose snacks that have high nutritional value and low sodium content.
– Instead of packed juices and soda, make your child a freshly squeeze orange juice. Avoid sweetened beverages.
– Limit TV viewing. Study shows that children who watch TV for longer hours have the tendency to eat more. Likewise, limiting TV viewing discourages children from setting their eyes on different junk food products.
- Addiction to drugs. Yes, you read it right. Substance abuse and addiction can lead to elevation of blood pressure. While certain medications can raise blood pressure readings, health experts warn the public on the use of unlawful substances which can lead to hypertension. Illicit drugs such as marijuana and cocaine can induce vasoconstriction thereby triggering the onset of hypertension. Amphetamines and ecstasy are other substances that can elevate blood pressure.
- Smoking and Chronic alcohol drinking. According to Webmd, there are no less than 60 scientific evidences that link smoking and alcohol drinking to hypertension. Their debilitating effect to health — commonly heart disease — has curtailed hundreds of American’s life every year. For smoking, the longer the person smokes, the higher is the risk of developing heart disease in the later life. Tobacco products affect the heart by decreasing the oxygen supply, increasing heart rate and damaging the blood vessels. On the other hand, alcohol can induce hypertension by releasing certain chemicals that increase pressure within the blood vessels. In addition to that, alcohol contains lots of empty calories which can contribute to weight gain, a risk factor of hypertension. The following are some ways on how to get rid from smoking and alcohol drinking:
– Divert attention to more useful activities such as going to gym, taking a sport with a friend or go shopping.
– Stay away from friends who smoke or drink. They are by no means going to help you in breaking up your bad habits.
– Avoid carrying lighters and matches.
– Limit alcohol drinking. Moderate drinking is otherwise beneficial to the heart. Note: A healthy drink is defined as one drink per day for women and two drinks daily for men.
– Keep your hands busy – scribble, draw, type, etc.
– Avoid caffeinated drinks. They trigger the urge to smoke.
– Do not substitute smoking with e-cigarettes. E-cigars still contain a significant amount of nicotine.