Preventing hypertension requires a reasonable diet and appropriate physical activity

How to achieve a reasonable diet for preventing hypertension?

The key points of the reasonable diet recommendations for preventing hypertension are as follows:

  1. Reduce sodium intake. High sodium intake is associated with high blood pressure, so sodium intake should be limited. The World Health Organization recommends that each person’s daily salt intake should not exceed 6g. The overall sodium intake in China is high, with an average daily sodium intake of 12-18g in northern regions and 7-8g in southern regions. This leads to China’s leading hypertension incidence rate in the world.
  2. Reduce dietary fat, supplement adequate high-quality protein, and reduce dietary fat, especially controlling dietary fat below 25%. This can significantly reduce blood pressure. High-quality protein can lower the incidence of hypertension and stroke. The quality of protein ranges from dairy, eggs, fish, shrimp, chicken, duck, pork, and beef; among plant proteins, beans are the best.
  3. Pay attention to supplementing potassium and calcium. Supplementing potassium is beneficial for sodium excretion, and insufficient calcium in the diet can increase blood pressure. People with low potassium and low calcium diets should increase their intake of foods high in potassium and calcium, such as green leafy vegetables, fresh milk, and legume products.
  4. Eat more vegetables and fruits. Eating more vegetables and fruits can play a role in reducing blood pressure along with reducing fat. Human diets should be mainly vegetarian, with an appropriate amount of meat being the ideal.
Preventing hypertension requires a reasonable diet and appropriate physical activity
Preventing hypertension requires a reasonable diet and appropriate physical activity

How to achieve moderate exercise for preventing hypertension?

Lack of physical activity increases the risk of hypertension (dyslipidemia, gout, diabetes). A sedentary lifestyle is one of the four main causes of death and disability worldwide. About 2 million people die each year due to insufficient physical activity. Over 2,500 years ago, the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, known as the father of modern medicine, said: “Sunlight, air, water, and sports are the sources of life and health.” The profound aspect of this famous saying is that it places sports on an equal footing with sunlight, air, and water, becoming basic necessities of life.

Each person participating in sports, especially middle-aged and elderly people and those with hypertension, should understand their physical condition before deciding on the type, intensity, frequency, and duration of exercise. For middle-aged and elderly people, exercises can include aerobics, stretching, and strength training, such as walking, slow running, Tai Chi, lawn bowls, dancing, and stair climbing. Exercise intensity varies from person to person, and a common indicator is for the maximum heart rate during exercise to reach 170 minus one’s age.

For example, a 50-year-old person’s exercise heart rate should be around 120 beats per minute, which is moderate. Additionally, based on their physical fitness and whether they have a sports foundation, the person’s heart rate can fluctuate up or down by 20 beats per minute. Exercise frequency generally requires 3 to 5 times a week, lasting 20 to 60 minutes each time. In 1992, the World Health Organization recommended walking as the best exercise, suggesting that people follow the “three-five-seven” rule: “Three” means walking 3 kilometers daily for about 30 minutes; “Five” means exercising 5 times a week; and “Seven” refers to a post-exercise heart rate plus age of about 170.

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