LIFESTYLES RELATED CAUSES:
Lack of exercise:
I once watched a movie which I found not only hilarious but also quite informative. It is called “”, a South African Comedy which depicted how ridiculous man can get in his quest to become more technologically advanced. The plot is set against the lifestyle of a modern urban dweller as compared to the simplistic life of the Kalahari Bushman. In one scene, a lady is shown reversing her car from her garage (still dressed in her night gown) and drives to post a letter in a letter box located directly opposite her house. I laughed and asked myself why she had to drive. She simply needed to walk. She may have thought she could save time by doing so, but in the process used fuel, subjected the car to wear and tear and never gave her body the opportunity to exercise, however small it was.
This indeed is the lifestyle of the modern urban dweller that would jump at any opportunity to use an automated means of transport (personal car, bus, public transport, motorbike etc.) even over distances where he would ordinarily walk. These habits rob our bodies of the little opportunities we get to exercise our bodies. This is particularly important as we grow older and cannot engage in many vigorous sporting activities.
Smoking is also a main cause of elevated Blood Pressure Levels. Smoking accelerates the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries. Smoke inhalation fills the arteries with chemicals from the cigarettes. These chemicals in turn convert into fatty deposits that stick to the arterial walls, cause plaque formation and clog the arteries. This is known as artherosclerosis. When the arteries are clogged, the heart works harder to pump blood to the rest of the body, placing strain on the heart muscles and increasing blood pressure.
Too much alcohol consumption is another factor that can raise blood pressure to unhealthy levels. Alcohol depletes many nutrients particularly Zinc and Magnesium known to regulate high blood pressure; alcohol can increase the production of free radicals in the body. Free radicals accelerate the rate of cell oxidation particularly among cells within the blood vessels leading to cholesterol formation and clogging of blood vessels: alcohol can damage the liver, alcohol damages the brain, alcohol impairs the functioning of the digestive tract; alcohol (especially beer) is rich in calories and can easily lead to weight gain. Weight gain increases ones chances of becoming hypertensive; alcohol also interacts with certain medications and reduces their effectiveness. If a person with high blood pressure consumes alcohol while taking prescription medications, there is reduced levels of efficacy of the drugs being taken, thereby aggravating the high blood pressure condition.