In 2008, according to The World Health Organization (WHO), heart disease was the leading cause of death in the entire world (number one in the U.S. as well), accounting for 30% of total deaths worldwide! That means roughly one out of every three people in the world died of some sort of heart ailment.

In the United States, public awareness of personal health over the last few months has dramatically increased, and many people want to know what are the causes of high blood pressure. There are certain risk factors involved that many people neglect that can attribute to hypertension.

The following factors can lead to an increased risk of high blood pressure:

Too much salt in your diet
Poor nutrition habits
Neglecting exercise
High cholesterol
Heart defects
A family history of high blood pressure

With talks of universal health care and an overhaul of the health care system, more and more people are becoming aware of the need to take care of themselves in order to avoid costly medication, time-consuming doctor visits, and in the worst cases, an early death.

According to the American Heart Association, in 90 to 95% of high blood pressure cases, the exact cause is unknown. If we can’t figure out the exact causes of high blood pressure, it is vitally important that we take steps to do our best to lower our chances for high blood pressure, and that is going to mean making some important lifestyle changes. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to have to rely on high blood pressure remedies in order to live a fulfilling life.

While there is really not a whole lot you can do about your genetics playing a role in your blood pressure, there are plenty of choices you can control if you want to reduce blood pressure. Healthy living is not as hard as it seems, and can not only help to lower blood pressure, but it can lead to a variety of other benefits as well.

Here are just a few of the ways you can help to lower your blood pressure:

Quit smoking
Avoid fried foods
Exercise daily
Eat foods that are low in cholesterol
Reduce your sodium intake
Take time to relax
Avoid stimulants

A healthy diet is an obvious lifestyle change that many people need to make. This does not mean that you can never eat a burger and fries ever again, but it does mean that you need to be more aware of what you do eat. Eating foods that are lower in saturated fat, reducing your salt intake, and avoiding fried foods can all lead to lower blood pressure. Doing these things in conjunction with one another is a great way to keep your heart healthy and strong, and can be much faster than simply doing just one or the other.

Not only will the above diet changes help your blood pressure, but they can also dramatically impact other aspects of your body in a positive way. Healthy eating can lower LDL (the bad cholesterol) and raise HDL (the good cholesterol). Higher levels of HDL can even reduce the risk of heart attack.

I know it’s not an easy task, but if you can quit smoking, not only will your heart thank you, but your lungs will as well. Secondhand smoke also contains a number of toxins that not only affect you, but those around you as well. I’m not one of those people that thinks smoking is evil, but it is a proven fact that it does lead to many detrimental aspects. With the cost of cigarettes going up, even your wallet will see the benefits of quitting smoking.

A regular exercise routine is also key in helping to lower blood pressure. This does not mean you need to be spending hours upon hours lifting weights in the gym, it can simply mean going for a walk on a regular basis. With the obesity rate in America steadily rising, physical activity is of paramount importance in maintaining a healthy heart. Exercise is also a great way to alleviate the stress we all deal with in our day to day lives.

So while the debate over health care rages on, it’s high time we take responsibility for our own health. Your heart is the strongest muscle in your entire body, but even it has limitations and will give out on you if not taken care of. Take the necessary steps to reduce your blood pressure, and you will find that you can lead a happy and healthy life well into your golden years.

Author's Bio: 

Tim Mielke
Author and Supplement Expert

Tim Mielke has been involved in the supplement industry for over 15 years. As a former competitive body builder and personal trainer, Tim has extensive first-hand knowledge of the benefits and pitfalls of fitness supplementation. Knowledge so extensive, in fact, that his book, “The Book of Supplement Secrets: A Beginners Guide to Nutritional Supplements,” was recently published and is currently available through Tim brings this supplement and bodybuilding know-how to as a contributing author and researcher.