Sex works. So does chocolate. And music. Who said watching your BP had to suck?
By Danielle Braff, Men’s Health
America’s blood pressure is way too high. In fact, nearly one in four men between the ages of 35 and 44 have hypertension, as well as 12 percent of men between 20 and 34, according to the American Heart Association. It’s so bad that the Institute of Medicine is urging the government to start trying to shake salt out of our diet, since too much of this key taste enhancer can cause you to retain water in your blood, which adds volume and boosts blood pressure. This, in turn, exposes you to a greater risk of heart attack, stroke, and even erectile dysfunction. But sodium isn’t the only culprit. Smoking, excessive drinking, inactivity, and bad food choices can also make your arteries burst at the seams. Worse, you may never know what hit you. “Many men don’t pay attention to their blood pressure until they’re older,” says nephrologist George Bakris, M.D., president of the American Society of Hypertension. “But you don’t experience symptoms until it’s very high.”
But there’s good news amid the gloom: Keeping your blood pressure out of the danger zone doesn’t have to be just about restraint. Use our expert advice to find your perfect—perfectly fun—pressure-release valves.