By working with clients and offering counseling and counseling by encouraging them to focus on a healthy lifestyle, I often hear the questions that begin. “I heard on the news …” This month, one of the subjects of the news was high blood pressure or hypertension. Hypertension is one of the major risk factors for heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and other health problems. About 30 percent of people in the United States have high blood pressure.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently shared a study that focused on the intensive management of blood pressure below the traditionally target systolic pressure of 140 systolic blood pressure measurements in the arteries when the heart contracts the muscle. An example is 120/90. In the past, health providers were recommended to more closely monitor pressure if the systolic pressure is 140 or higher. The study began six years ago with 2900 participants aged 50 and over. Gradually, as the study progresses, data show that targeting a systolic pressure of less than 120, targets the reduction associated with fewer cardiac events such as heart attack, stroke and heart failure.
To help move the needle in monitoring your blood pressure, adjust your lifestyle, paying attention to your daily diet and adding exercise and meditation to your regular routine.
Include daily fruits, vegetables and legumes with the diet. Include five products per day. This does not mean baked potatoes with bacon, cheese and sour cream. The potatoes can, however, tell the naked variety is the minimum meilleur– those with or without accessories. Eat more green leafy vegetables and legumes like red or black beans, black beans and lentils. Reduce sodium and salt. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends an intake of sodium at 1,500 mg per day or about 3/4 teaspoon. The culprit is not really the salt shaker, but processed foods — make it a habit to read food labels for the amount of sodium per serving. Just choose the processed food that can be loaded with sodium to make it pass the recommended amount of AHA.
Regular exercise Exercise makes the arteries in the body more flexible and easier to expand, facilitating blood flow, which reduces systolic pressure. The benefits of blood pressure are visible immediately after exercise. Exercise can be such a moderate walk or just get up ten minutes of every hour. Count the parking space in the corner or walk to the second or third floor, instead of taking the elevator. Try adding 30 minutes of aerobic activity 5-7 days per week. If it can not be integrated into a single session, divide it into 10 or 15 minutes that will last 30 minutes.
Meditation – Meditation practices that improve attention and reduce anxiety have shown positive effects on blood pressure. The practice of daily meditation can change the responses of the brain to make you feel more resistant to stress and promote brain health. Meditation is not difficult – sit up straight with both feet on the floor. Close your eyes. Focus your attention on the recitation (loud or silent) of a positive expression or a mantra like “I feel calm” or “I love me”. Place a hand on your stomach to link the mantra with your breaths. Let the distracting thoughts float like bubbles. A few minutes of practice a day can help relieve anxiety and stress. Ten minutes of daily meditation is a good start. As with exercise, if smaller increments work better start small to make meditation a habit.
These are the steps you can take that do not include drugs. I am not in favor of giving up medication. My goal is to share interventions that can be proactive, helping to avoid having to take medication prescribed by the doctor for high blood pressure.