Salutations to all my House of Buckle Blog readers and fans! I hope you are having a great month of May and enjoying the beautiful weather! I also hope your personal fitness/health goals are going strong and you are seeing results and reaping the rewards of your efforts!
May is National High Blood Pressure Education month and with so many folks suffering from high blood pressure I thought it was a great time to write about it. Let’s first talk about blood pressure and what ‘high’ means.
Blood pressure is the measurement of the force of your blood as it presses against your arteries. Increased blood pressure means your heart has to work harder to pump the blood through your body. You are classified as having high blood pressure when your systolic pressure is 130+ or your diastolic pressure is 80+. There are not really any signs or symptoms of high blood pressure, which makes it extra dangerous. High blood pressure in itself isn’t really a disease but because of the stress it places on the heart, it leads to heart disease, which is a serious situation.
Based on the information above, the key is to have ‘normal’ blood pressure (<130 systolic and/or <80 diastolic). The great news is, there are a number of things you can do naturally to help your cause. And as always, I stress to people to make natural means an AID or SUPPLEMENT to your doctor’s medical advice.
Ways you can naturally lower your blood pressure:
- Get Moving: regular exercise is one of the best things you can do to lower/control your blood pressure. Regular exercise makes the heart stronger and more efficient at pumping blood through your circulatory system. As little as 75 minutes of vigorous or 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week can help lower your blood pressure (along with many other benefits). Even walking 30 minutes a day is a great place to start! As always check with your physician before staring a fitness program!
- Weight Management: most of the time blood pressure increases as people put on weight. Weight loss is one of the THE MOST effective lifestyle changes you can make to help control your blood pressure. Part of weight loss is eating healthy and I recommend start by keeping a food diary for one week. Record everything you eat and how much you eat. Be as detailed and specific as possible. If you drink milk, don’t just put “glass of milk”. Put “10oz. of milk” for example. Once you have your data, you can then see where you need to tweak/cut/add regarding the foods you are eating, and how much.
- Alcohol: cutting down on alcohol is beneficial because drinking alcohol can raise your blood pressure.
- Caffeine: You may need to cut back on caffeine. Studies are not conclusive on this one, but we do know that caffeine at the very least causes a spike in blood pressure, at least in the short term, in most people. May be something to look at.
- Salt: reduce sodium intake. There are many studies that link salt to high blood pressure and other heart issues. This is a tough one because we all love salt! But if you are serious about lowering your blood pressure, you will have to make this adjustment.
- Potassium: This mineral helps your body get rid of sodium and also eases pressure on your blood vessels.
- Magnesium: this mineral helps blood vessels relax. I recommend getting this via vegetables, dairy, chicken, legumes and whole grains
- Garlic: Aged garlic extract is extremely beneficial for lower blood pressure. Garlic also does a zillion other things for your body and should be a staple in your diet.
The above list is a great place to start and is an all-natural way to help control and/or lower your blood pressure. If you are already seeing a doctor and have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, in addition to your medication, I would talk to your doctor about incorporating some/all of the items on this list as a natural aid. Create an Acton plan and make it happen! Remember, as with anything: control the controllables!
Thank you for stopping by and if you have any questions, as always, you can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great rest of your week and remember, your best wealth is your health!