I’m only 22, but my father has had problems with high blood pressure, and I would like to know what my best bets are for preventing problems for me in the future. What are my risks?
Many health problems are hereditary, including high blood pressure. Preventing the same problem in relatives is fortunately possible. Controlling weight gain through diet and exercise is probably most important.
A regular exercise routine starting at an early age is ideal. I refer to my exercise strategy as “15 Minutes From Home.” I tell my patients to walk at a casual pace for 15 minutes away from their home; then return at a comfortable pace. Remember how far you walk. For example, if you reached a specific corner after walking for 15 minutes, remember that location in your mind. Repeat this 3-4 times per week. After several weeks, try to walk a bit faster for 15 minutes – thus reaching a further point, then return home casually. Keep increasing the speed and distance every few weeks. You’ll find that you’ll walk faster and further over time.
The second part to preventing weight gain is diet. Fast food is high in unhealthy fat and cholesterol and should be avoided.
Finally, there are many health problems which go hand-in-hand with high blood pressure. These include obesity, diabetes, abnormal cholesterol, heart disease, and stroke. It is important to have yearly check-ups with a doctor to catch early signs of these conditions and possibly prevent dangerous consequences. If noticed early, changes in diet and exercise, and possibly medications can prevent the damage of high blood pressure.
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Published On: October 17, 2006