Archive for January 3rd, 2008

Simple Steps To Control Your Blood Pressure

January 3, 2008

Go to fullsize imageAfter the holidays comes the Blues…. high sugar, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. These form the deadly triad which if coupled with obesity forms the Deadly Quartet called the Metabolic Syndrome.  Its deadly because of the complications associated with the combination of diseases resulting in stroke and heart attack.  But we can do something about them if we are dsicplined enough to do it for the new year.

Recently the Harvard Medical School Publication: The Harvard Healthbeat came up with easy suggestions that we can do to help control our Blood Pressure.  Medications come in handy but they can have side effects.

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1. Check it. You can’t do much about your blood pressure unless you know what it is. Your doctor should check it at every visit. Measuring it at home is even better. Relatively inexpensive home monitors are available in most pharmacies.

2. Get moving. Regular exercise, even something as simple as brisk walking, improves blood vessel flexibility and heart function. It can lower blood pressure by 10 points, prevent the onset of high blood pressure, or let you reduce your dosage of blood pressure medications.

3. Eat right. A landmark study called Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) showed that you can eat your way to better blood pressure. The DASH diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, poultry, fish, and nuts, and downplays red meat, sweets, sugar-containing beverages, and saturated fat and cholesterol.

4. Control your weight. If you are carrying too many pounds for your frame, losing weight can lower your blood pressure. You don’t need to become rail-thin — losing 10% of your current weight, or even 10 pounds, can make a big difference.

5. Don’t smoke. Nicotine constricts small blood vessels. Smoking a cigarette can cause a 20-point spike in systolic blood pressure. Quitting is tough, but there are now more aids to help.

6. Drink alcohol in moderation. A drink a day for women and one or two a day for men is good for the heart and blood vessels. Going beyond that can contribute to higher blood pressure.

7. Shake up your salts. Too much sodium and too little potassium boost blood pressure in people who are sensitive to salt. The imbalance is so great that the American Medical Association is calling for food makers and restaurants to cut the sodium content of food by 50% by 2016. Aim for less than 1.5 grams of sodium a day, and at least 4.7 grams of potassium.

8. Sleep is good. Burning the candle at both ends night after night can contribute to high blood pressure, not to mention increase the chances of developing heart disease or a sudden cardiac arrest. How much sleep is enough? At least six hours a night, though eight hours is probably more like it for most people.

9. Reduce stress. As surely as mental and emotional stress can raise blood pressure, meditation, deep breathing, and other stress-busting activities can lower it.

10. Stick with your medications. Taking pills to keep your blood pressure in check won’t make you feel any different. But it can keep you from having a stroke, heart attack, or other problem.

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So be warned and be good this new year.  Resolve to keep our body healthy by keeping our lifestyle clean.  Our biggest enemy is really the habit of eating out and enjoying the food too much neglecting to consider that harm that can be done to our body with what we put in!

Following Simple Lifestyle Changes can make a Difference!