Exercise is king – again
exercise is king
Like most mature adults, I take medication for high blood pressure. Which I find really irritating. So I’ve been looking for ways to lower my blood pressure enough that I don’t need the chemical medications I’m taking.
As always, I was drawn to the research, where I found so many offers that I almost lost myself in the research instead of what I actually intended to do.
1. I hate to admit it, but the first thing on my mind was to lose weight, paying special attention to your waist measurements (less than 40 inches for men, 35 inches for women), so assuming there are others out there like me, I am passing you some of them.
The following is from the staff at the Mayo Clinic
“Blood pressure often increases as weight increases. Being overweight can also cause interrupted breathing while you sleep (sleep apnea), which further increases blood pressure.
Weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes to control blood pressure. Losing just 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) can help lower your blood pressure.
In addition to losing weight, you generally also need to watch your waistline. Carrying too much weight around the waist can increase the risk of high blood pressure.”
2. Then exercise – just 30 minutes most days of the week (I try to manage 5), can have a huge impact and can lower your blood pressure by as much as 4 to 9 ml of mercury (mm Hg). I’m so ready for it! The best options: walking, jogging, bicycling, swimming or dancing, or even strength training.
I think most of us can do a walk or two and for me, if that’s not an option, I do some floor exercises at home. For weights, I use a couple of water bottles and sit on the edge of the couch to work out my legs.
3. Maintain a healthy diet. It is recommended that you be a smart shopper. Read food labels when you shop, and follow your healthy eating plan when you dine out, too. It’s not always easy, but the benefits are enormous.
Try to eat less processed foods. Only a small amount of sodium is found naturally in foods. Most of the sodium is added during processing. Checking labels will show how much sodium (salt) and sugars of various kinds are added during processing. These are added so much to increase the shelf life of a product, which doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest.
These days I have started to freeze my own vegetables, which are much less complicated and difficult than I thought. So now I have a freezer full of frozen veggies that are sugar free, salt which I certainly added to the water. But, I only blanched the vegetables and used the same water for the ones that don’t add a strong flavor to the water. So my use of salt is kept to a minimum.
I then went over some foods etc that can help lower blood pressure. Now, I have never been much of a fan of flavored teas, except for green and earl gray, but on the research front I came across the following.
Hibiscus tea contains phytochemicals that play a role in lowering blood pressure, soybeans contain isoflavones that can also help lower your systolic (the one on top) blood pressure reading. They also help in the production of nitric oxide enzymes, which help in the relaxation of blood vessels, reducing blood pressure.
4. Ditch the tuxedo
5. Work to reduce your stress levels.
6. Every cell in the body has a receptor for vitamin D, so work to absorb or take in vitamin D. This can be found mainly in the sun’s rays. It should be noted that if you live more than 35% above or below the equator, this can cause very little to be absorbed, as the sun’s rays are weaker. However, exposing your arms and legs to the sun for 5 to 45 minutes between 10 am and 3 pm is usually enough to meet the daily requirements of most skin types.
It can be found in oily fish, fish liver oil, and egg yolks, among others. Every cell in our body has a receptor for vitamin D. A deficiency is also linked to type 1 diabetes, MS, high blood pressure, and thyroid problems.
Thanks to Authority Nutrition at Healthline.
Overweight people may also need higher amounts of the vitamin.
Don’t forget the alcohol
Typically more than one drink a day for women and men age 65 and older, or more than two a day for men age 65 and younger. One drink is equal to 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80 proof liquor.
Drinking more than moderate amounts of alcohol can actually raise your blood pressure by several notches. It can also reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.
Unfortunately (for me), caffeine is also bad for blood pressure levels. But then, reducing my intake has been pretty good, so I can’t complain.
In general, in general –
Blood pressure should be less than 120/80
To avoid high cholesterol: keep the numbers below
100 mg of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
60 mg + for HDL (good) cholesterol.
If you are overweight, or to avoid being overweight, keep your waist measurements below 40 inches (men) and 35 inches (35 inches) for women.
Eat less than 7% of your calories in saturated fat.
Eat less than 200 mg of cholesterol-lowering diet foods.
So if we want to avoid or reverse our dependency on chemicals, following a diet plan that can really help is a no-brainer, isn’t it?
One final note, statins are partly responsible for receptors feeling tired and suffering from memory loss. I think it’s another reason to be able to avoid having to take those medications.
This research is an incredible way to find and, where possible, avoid the common situations that many of us encounter as we reach adulthood, for some, this doesn’t just mean when we pass 55.