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Home Lifestyle 5 Reasons Why Most People Fail at Managing Their Blood Pressure

5 Reasons Why Most People Fail at Managing Their Blood Pressure

Last update: Mar 3
reading-time6 min
unhappy senior woman

Health Insider’s dedicated author Edibel Quintero reveals all. And at the end of this article, you’ll discover how seniors can (actually) manage their heart health in a totally natural way.

When we hit the age of 60, our blood pressure usually rises as arteries become thicker. It’s a natural part of the aging process. Prescribed medications typically can manage it. 

But very often, people have problems maintaining healthy blood pressure.

Here’s why.

1.  Forgetting to take your medication

It is, by far, one of the most common reasons why seniors can’t maintain their heart health.

I want to point out that about 125,000 people die each year because they don’t take their medicines.1

Irregular use of medicines can lead to higher risks of stroke and the development of cardiovascular diseases like:

  • Coronary Heart Disease (CHD – narrowing arteries)
  • Abnormal heart rhythms or arrhythmia
  • Heart attack
  • Deep vein thrombosis and more… 2

I would suggest creating a schedule – write down which and how many medicines you need to take at a specified time. 

It may seem like a lot of work, but writing a plan is more reliable than keeping it in your head.

This way, you won’t forget to take your medicine wherever you are. 

There is also a way that is a hundred times more convenient.

Imagine getting notifications to your phone about which meds you have to take and when. 

That would eliminate the hard work of noting everything down by yourself. Wouldn’t it be ideal?

I will explain it later in the article.

2. Eating too much junk food

If your daily servings include these:

  • Fizzy drinks, sodas
  • Baked goods and snacks
  • Sugary cereals
  • Ready meals containing food additives (with preservatives, dyes, stabilizers, artificial sweeteners…)
  • Dehydrated vegetable soups
  • Reconstituted meat and fish products…

…then, read this part carefully.

The British Medical Journal released a study that eating junk food daily increases developing heart disease by 62%.3

An easy way of making sure you don’t have too much junk food in your diet is to be mindful of what you eat.

According to NutriNet-Santé researchers, meal planning is associated with a healthier diet and preventing obesity.4

However, meal planning might not seem intuitive for everybody. People might struggle with planning the correct amount of food or the appropriate nutrition for their conditions. 

Some people just get overwhelmed by the amount of work that goes into researching the right meals for them!

There are millions of recipes that could help improve your heart health. Some people might find the same meals helpful, and others might not. It’s because everyone’s different ‒ it’s natural.

Instead of researching such recipes or even struggling to count calories before each meal for months…

You can have a plan that would automatically do all of this for you.

Some mobile apps have accurate meal plans according to your individual needs. They consider your weight, age, gender, allergies, favorite food taste, and even symptoms.

And it’s perfectly designed for seniors.

3. Lack of attention to mental health

Mental health plays a massive role in the management of cardiovascular diseases. A variety of mental health conditions can have an impact on heart health.

Studies have discovered a close link between depression and heart attack.5

Depression is one of the most overlooked issues that can impact a person’s heart condition.

Long-term stress and negative emotions can increase blood pressure. It happens because of cortisol – a stress hormone that builds up plaque inside of arteries. 

If unmanaged, such conditions can have severe consequences. Especially for people who are recovering or those who have high blood pressure.

It’s especially relevant for individuals who work or live in high-stress environments. 

There are many different approaches to reduce stress and stabilize the state of mind.

One of the most popular and effective ways is to practice conscious breathing

Another great solution is to focus on a simple activity. For example, walking, gardening, reading… or any other activity that you find enjoyable and relaxing.

4. Smoking and secondhand smoking

More than 16 million Americans are battling against diseases caused by smoking.6

It’s also one of the leading causes of cancer, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and so on. It’s responsible for one in five fatalities in the US only. That’s about half a million people a year! 

Heavy chemicals in cigarette smoke cause the blood to become thicker. It may form clots inside veins and arteries.7

Meanwhile, stroke has a 10–20% chance of death, but surviving patients face irreversible consequences. They range from loss of mobility to cognitive issues.8

Smoking damages the heart and blood vessels in no time. But health may be restored fairly quickly for most smokers who stop smoking. 

Rapid health improvements may be felt even by long-time smokers when they quit. Within a year, the risk of a heart attack becomes much lower. And within five years, most smokers reduce their risk of stroke to nearly that of a nonsmoker.9

Even a few cigarettes now and then damage the heart. So the only proven strategy to keep your heart safe from the effects of smoking is to quit.

There are many safe ways to quit smoking forever, but, of course, it takes time. 

One study on human behavior proves that location is strongly related to smoking.10

It simply means if you pay attention to where you like to smoke – put some effort to avoid spending time in those places. It also means that you may have to avoid meeting with people who also smoke. 

This practice costs nothing but your effort. It can help overcome the unhealthy habit of smoking.

5. Lack of exercise

This reason on my list seems self-explanatory but hear this.

Research shows that physical inactivity causes one out of three CHD-related deaths.

CHD is the deadliest cardiovascular disease in the United States. More than half a million Americans lose their lives each year.11 12

But, a study run in 2013 showed that higher levels of physical activity caused a 21% reduction of CHD events for men. And for women, it was 29%. It means that regular exercise helps significantly lower the risk of CHD.13

The American Heart Association recommends 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity 3–4 times per week.

There are many options on how to exercise on your own. 

For example, having a walk outside around your neighborhood or in a park can be a great start. 

Or, if you have a friend or a partner, have a walk together. This is a proven safe way to reduce stress.

Even moderate physical activity helps improve the heart’s muscles as well as joints.

According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, losing even 10 pounds of weight can help lower high blood pressure. Exercise may have a great positive effect on people who have hypertension.14

Also, there are countless videos and articles about fitness. But exercising without proper instructions puts people at risk of injuries.

A professionally planned workout is much safer than doing the exercises alone.

But did you know that there are affordable fitness plans? And they’re just the same as if you hired a professional but a hundred times cheaper.

These plans are designed to help people get in shape and maintain their blood pressure at healthy levels.

Written by
Edibel Quintero, MD

Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel's goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.

unhappy senior woman

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