By DeLano Daniels, EM Fitness Contributor, Pin Fit
Have you gone to the doctor recently and been diagnosed with high blood pressure? Do you know what a high reading is? Let’s start with your systolic pressure (the top number), a reading of 120 is normal; now your diastolic pressure (the bottom number), a reading of 80 is normal. Couple those numbers and you get a complete reading of 120 over 80, which is in the normal/healthy range.
Once your blood pressure starts creeping into the 140 over 90 area, health care providers begin to look at alternatives to reduce your high blood pressure. MEDICATION!! Do you hate the idea of taking medication on a daily basis? What about the expense of having to purchase medication?
A person’s lifestyle plays a major role in how a physician will handle your high blood pressure. If a person can successfully control his/her high blood pressure through lifestyle changes, that individual may avoid, delay, or reduce the chances of being prescribed medication.
Here are a few areas of your life that you can change immediately to lower your blood pressure:
1. Weight loss is going to be the biggest contributing factor to lowering your blood pressure; simply losing 10 pounds can lower your blood pressure significantly. In most instances, the more weight you lose, the lower your blood pressure. Individuals also should be cognizant of their waistlines; men with a waistline larger than 40 inches and women with a waistline larger than 35 inches are typically at higher risk for high blood pressure.
2. Move, move, move, and move some more! Regular exercise also contributes to lowering your blood pressure. You can start by doing some light exercises for 30 minutes a day, 4-5 times a week. Here’s the kicker, it won’t take long to see a difference, especially if you haven’t been active in a while. By simply increasing your exercise time, you can lower your blood pressure to safer levels within a few weeks. Make sure that you consult your doctor before developing an exercise regimen and make sure that you discuss any restrictions that you might have.
3. Don’t add salt! Most people love to add salt to already sodium-rich foods. Try decreasing your daily sodium intake, read food labels, and be aware. An easy way of decreasing your sodium intake is to eat more natural foods and stay away from canned and processed foods.
4. Reduce your stress. Have you ever heard that stress will kill you? Well there you have it! Anxiety and/or stress can increase blood pressure. Sit back and take some time to think, “What causes me to feel stressed?” Is it work? Is it family? Is it finances? Once you have figured out what is stressing you, devise a plan on how to eliminate those stressors or at least cope with them.
The bottom line is that high blood pressure is a silent killer, associated with heart disease, and is the leading cause of death in America. If none of the above factors resonate with you, take the following into consideration. FAMILY! Your wife, husband, daughter, son, mother, or father….
These people depend on us and we constantly make the SELFISH decision to temporarily satisfy our taste buds, not exercise, and lead unhealthy lifestyles. We’re killing ourselves one bite at a time.
If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your family!
About DeLano Daniels