High blood pressure (hypertension) is the most important risk factor for preventing heart attack and stroke. About one-third of adults have it, but many of them don’t know it. The causes of high blood pressure are not fully understood, but there’s no mistaking the problems it can cause. Study the facts and learn to keep your blood pressure in check.
Your heart generates the pressure needed to send blood rushing through your arteries. High blood pressure occurs when there’s resistance to that blood flow (a tightening or
narrowing of the arteries), causing the heart to work harder than it should. People with high blood pressure are at increased risk of heart disease, stroke, atherosclerosis, congestive heart, failure, kidney disease and blindness.
You should consider your age, ethnicity, family history, smoking, obesity or overweight, and or an inactive lifestyle to determine if you have one of the risk factors for high blood pressure. Remember high blood pressure often has no warning signs or symptoms so it’s important to have regular screenings.
Consider purchasing a simple home testing device for determining your blood pressure if you find you have one of the risk factors. Your new blood pressure device will provide pressure as two numbers usually written as systolic over diastolic mm Hg. At a glance anything less than 120 (systolic) and less than 80 (diastolic) are generally considered normal (referenced as 120/80). Pressures of 120-139 / 80-89 are generally considered pre-hypertension and are cause for concern — it means you’re likely to develop high blood pressure if you don’t take steps toward healthier blood pressure now. Any measurements 140/90 is High – be sure and speak with you health care provider.
Lets look at 7 ways to Better Blood Pressure.
While some risk factors for high blood pressure are beyond your control, many can be reversed.
Are you doing all you can to prevent high blood pressure?
Some habits for healthy blood pressure:
Lose excess weight. Even a small weight loss can reduce the strain on your heart and lower your blood pressure.
Watch the salt. The National Institutes of Health recommends no more than 2,300 mg of salt a day (about one teaspoon).
Exercise regularly. At least 30 minutes of light, heart-pumping exercise daily (such as walking) can strengthen your heart and help control weight. Check with your health care provider first if you aren’t accustomed to exercise.
Kick tobacco. Smoking constricts blood vessels, raising blood pressure and risk of heart attack and stroke.
Limit alcohol use. More than one to two drinks a day can
raise your blood pressure. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. These foods contain blood-pressure-reducing minerals. (The American Heart Association recommends the DASH diet, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, to help control blood pressure.)
Relax daily. Researchers are finding possible links
between stress and high blood pressure. Take steps
to ease chronic stress.
The bottom line: Healthy choices can help your body
maintain a healthy blood pressure — they may even delay
the development of high blood pressure and prevent the
need for life-long medication. However, if you’ve already
been diagnosed with high blood pressure and you take
medication, follow your health care provider’s advice and
continue taking your medication as directed. Do follow the 7 steps to better blood pressure – it could save your life.
Our desire is to Make People’s Lives Better. Blood pressure control should be a concern to all – especially if you are in a high risk category. Let’s get healthy as a team.
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