Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common disease among the elderly. Even according to National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, middle-aged people at risk up to 90% experience hypertension in old age. Fortunately, there are various simple ways to manage hypertension in the elderly. Maintaining blood pressure to stay stable can be done in a variety of simple ways. One of the main principles of controlling hypertension in the elderly is to make lifestyle changes. Old age does not mean too late to manage a healthy lifestyle to avoid high blood pressure and complications.
Various ways to manage hypertension in elderly
1. Regular exercise
Exercise can improve heart fitness to pump blood without having to work hard. That is, the heart rate will be lower and regular. Ultimately, this can maintain the elasticity of the blood vessels to lower and stabilize blood pressure.
Regular exercise can also reduce the need for medication. The reason sports can lower systolic blood pressure ranging from 4-9 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), which is as good as the benefits of taking medication hypertension.
It is recommended for moderate intensity exercise routines (such as walking and cycling) for 150 minutes per week. Generally, exercise for at least 30 minutes every day, at least 3-5 days a week. The length of time exercise can be divided regularly every day.
In elderly people, make sure to always do a light and simple physical activity every day. For example, by cleaning the house or gardening.
Not only that, regular physical activity also helps in maintaining weight, which is another way to control blood pressure.
2. Pay attention to food intake
Begin to limit your intake of fatty and high-salt foods. Instead, multiply the intake of whole fruits, vegetables, and whole grains by following the DASH dietary guidelines made especially for hypertensive people.
Through the DASH diet, a person is advised to eat no more than a quarter of a teaspoon of salt per day. In comparison, the average person eats about four teaspoons of salt each day, almost fifteen times more than the recommended portion.
Salt indirectly increases blood volume by adding water to the bloodstream, which in turn increases blood pressure.
Based on various studies, normal people who apply the diet DASH known to reduce systolic pressure up to 6 points and 3 points from diastolic pressure. While people who are diagnosed with hypertension can lower systolic blood pressure to 11 points and 6 points at diastolic pressure only with DASH diet.
3. Consumption of hypertension drugs
Most cases of hypertension in the elderly should be treated with administration of drugs, especially if the elevation of the tension is severe enough and can not be treated only with a healthy lifestyle.
Even so, it is also necessary to equip themselves against the risk of side effects of hypertension medications, To monitor the blood tension while avoiding the risk of side effects of the drug is to routinely perform a medical check up to the doctor.