Festivals are for enjoyment, a time when you can go off track from your daily schedule and relish the special treatment. But is it ok to stray away occasionally from a healthy lifestyle if you have hypertension? We tell you how to manage hypertension during festivals in India so you can enjoy the festivities while taking care of your condition.
Hypertensionor high blood pressure is a chronic condition where your blood pressure is consistently too high.
Generally, as an adult, your blood pressure is considered to be high when your blood pressure is greater than or equal to 140/90 mm Hg.
Adopting healthy lifestyle changes such as having a heart-healthy diet, exercising regularly, maintaining ideal body weight, and limiting your sodium intake can help you manage hypertension. In cases where lifestyle changes are not enough to manage hypertension, your doctor may prescribe anti-hypertensive medications that will help manage the condition.
With hypertension, you ideally need to keep an eye on your daily routine and make sure you follow healthy practices consistently. It can get difficult at times, especially on special occasions such as festivals when you may not want to or be able to follow your daily schedule. You may also want to enjoy the festivities and the food as much as other family members are.
Read on for a few tips on managing hypertension during festivals.
Managing hypertension during the festive season is not difficult. You can keep the following tips in mind.
Try and prepare low-fat and low-sugar versions of your favourite festive foods, and watch your portion sizes. Also, opt for foods that are high in fibre, proteins, and healthy fats for most meals of the day.
While cooking, try baking or roasting food items instead of deep frying them. Watch your consumption of liquid calories in the form of sugary drinks and sherbets, which are easily disregarded. You can opt for water or sugarless fruit juices instead of sugary drinks.
Both chronic and occasional stress can contribute to high blood pressure. Fulfilling all the chores during festivals can get tiring and stressful. It is important to set aside 10 to 20 minutes for self-care in between your busy schedule.
You can practise relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation. It is equally important to get enough sleep (at least 7 hours) to relax and rejuvenate your mind and body. Inadequate sleep can adversely affect your blood pressure.
Though festivals call for a mouth-watering feast, it is important to keep an eye on what to eat with hypertension. Having excess salty food can elevate your blood pressure. Salt can lead to water retention, thus increasing your blood volume and elevating your blood pressure. Stay away from excess salt in food.
If you are consuming alcohol, make sure to have it in moderation. Alcohol, when consumed in excess, can elevate your blood pressure by narrowing the walls of your blood vessels. You can try to replace alcoholic beverages with healthier options such as coconut water or unsweetened fruit juices.
Though you might be occupied with the festive preparations, do not forget to monitor your BP regularly as advised by your doctor. A sudden change in your daily routine and diet may lead to fluctuations in blood pressure.
Monitoring your BP regularly and taking the medications as prescribed will help prevent a rise in your blood pressure and related complications.
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