H – Have a balanced diet. Not just fruits and vegetables, but a delicate variety and balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins as well. And yes, just a little taste of sweets and fatty foods once in a while to relieve stress, but don’t overdo it.
Y – Yearly cholesterol monitoring. Even if you don’t feel any symptoms, it is good to have your blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels monitored annualy starting at age 35. Remember: high cholesterol is directly correlated to increased risk for heart diesease and stroke, and it could escape detection if not monitored.
P – Pressure check. It doesn’t take much effort to run to the nearest health center once in a while for blood pressure monitoring. It also does not hurt to have an electronic blood pressure monitoring device at home. Just make sure it is always calibrated and the batteries are not worn out.
E – Exercise. Be active and sweat a little. This will strenghten your heart muscles and make your blood vessels more compliant, leading to better circulation.
R – Relax. Avoid getting stressed out. Remove all your hang-ups, hurts, and hatefulness.
T – Talk to your doctor. Take medications when needed. Treatment must not be delayed to avoid complications.
E – Ease up on the alcohol. Binge drinking stresses the heart and leads to heart failure in the long run.
N – Na. This is the symbol for sodium, which is present in salt. Avoid too much salt, because it retains fluid and overloads the heart muscle.
S – Sleep. A rested mind with adequate sleep keeps epinephrine levels down, which reduces vasoconstriction and improves blood flow to the tissues.
I – Identify your health history. If you have family members with hypertension, be more vigilant.
O – Omega 3 supplementation. Population studies and clinical trials provide compelling evidence that omega-3 fatty acids have cardioprotective effects. One gram a day may be all that you need.
N – No to smoking. It does not just prevent hypertension, but most other degenerative diseases as well.