A study by the lead author, Dr. Kathleen Mullan Harris, a professor at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, revealed that 19 percent, about one in five young adults, have high blood pressure. Here are a few tips for dealing with hypertension prevention in your family.
Starting in 1995, Dr. Harris studied 14,000 young people, tracking their health from adolescence to adulthood. The recent information showed the obesity rate was 37 percent and 19 percent had hypertension. Dr. Harris believes there are four factors for why these numbers are so high.
Firstly, she believes the cause for these horrifying numbers is that young people’s diets are high in salt and fat. Dr. Harris also found that the participants had very little exercise. The young people in the study also thought they are healthy, and they do not go to the doctor regularly. But the fourth and greatest problem is that hypertension has no symptoms and is known as “the silent killer.” Dr. Harris said, “High blood pressure is a sleeping epidemic and does permanent damage to your brain, heart, kidneys, and eyes.
4 Ways to Prevent Hypertension in Teens
Want to reduce the risk of hypertension in your teens? Check out these Mindful tips.
- Be the example. Parents play a big role in shaping and influencing the lifestyle of their kids. If you want your child to live a healthier life you must start with yourself. Eat right and exercise with your kids. Make it a family activity.
- Think outside the box. When it comes to exercise, get creative. Push-ups and crunches get boring; so, consider other forms of exercise. Athletics and dance classes are not only good for his/her health, but it is important for developing strong cognitive and sensory skills.
- Relax. Are your kids prone to anger or mood swings? Continuous aggravated emotions will not help their blood pressure. So, consider teaching your kids some simple, mindful practices like meditating or breathing exercises. This could actually help the whole family calm down.
- Watch the family diet. Eating the right foods is important for reducing the risk of hypertension. A balanced diet, with fruits and veggies, is important. There are also certain foods that are known to lower blood pressure like blueberries, strawberries, spinach, lima beans, fish, and even cinnamon. So, consider adding some of these foods to your family meals.