Tag Archives: Weight

What You Can Do About High Blood Pressure

Woman monitoring her own blood pressure

You go for a routine check up. The diagnosis: High blood pressure, a.k.a. The Silent Killer. It is asymptomatic. It sneaks up on a third of Americans without them even knowing it. High blood pressure does not make your head ache, it does not make you bleed, it does not make you break out in a rash, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there and it certainly doesn’t mean it’s not deadly. It works against your heart and arteries and can cause kidney disease, blindness, brain hemorrhage, and, eventually death. Of the 29% of Americans with high blood pressure, only 54% have it under control. However, if you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you can keep yourself in that percentage. Here are some tips on doing just that.

Lose weight
Blood pressure can increase with weight, and, if you suffer from sleep apnea, as a result of excess weight, your blood pressure can increase even more. Losing just 10 lbs is enough to bring about a significant reduction in blood pressure.

While you are slimming down, you may want to pay special attention to your waistline. Men with a waist measurement greater than 40″ are at risk for high blood pressure, as are women with waist measurements exceeding 35 inches.

Exercise
If you have high blood pressure, you can reduce your blood pressure by 4-9 mm of mercury by performing at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days. But, it’s important to keep it up. A lapse in consistency can cause blood pressure to go back up.

Woman jogging

The Dash Diet
The Dash diet, also known as the Dietary Approaches to stop Hypertension is the suggested diet for lowering hypertension. It consists of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and is low in cholesterol and saturated fat and high in potassium.

Limit Alcohol Intake
Although small amounts of alcohol can lower your blood pressure, too much alcohol can reverse the effects. Women and men over 65 should not drink more than one drink a day, while men under 65 should not exceed two drinks. Twelve ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor constitute one drink.

Reduce Sodium
Although a reduction in sodium can reduce blood pressure in all people, the amount of recommended intake varies. Sodium should generally be limited to less than 2,300 mg per day; however, an intake of 1,500mg a day is more appropriate for higher-risk groups, including African Americans, people 51 or older, and anyone diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease.

Man cutting cigarettes in half

Quit Smoking
Each cigarette increases blood pressure for several minutes after you smoke it. Quit smoking to reduce blood pressure and increase life expectancy.

Monitor Blood Pressure and See Your Doctor Often
It is important to keep track of blood pressure levels and home monitoring can help you make sure that your lifestyle changes are effective and alert you to complications. Monitors are widely available and do not require a prescription.

See your doctor every six to twelve months to keep your blood pressure under control.

Do you have high blood pressure? How do you keep it under control? Let us know! Your advice could make a difference!

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Tips for Dropping 10

Whether you are looking to lose those last ten pounds before hitting the beach this summer or you’re finally ready to make a lifelong change, the following tips can get you on the track to real weight loss. Always remember to listen to your body and check with a doctor before making any major changes to your diet or exercise routine (particularly if you are being treated for a medical condition).

Weightlifting

Lift Some Weights
If you’ve ever spent countless hours doing cardio and been disappointed by its results, you should give weightlifting a try. When we build more muscle mass by lifting heavy, we increase our metabolic rate, which means we burn more calories all the time, even in our sleep. Lifting heavy is a relative term; what is heavy for you when starting a strength training program may be light as you get stronger, but women especially tend to underestimate their strength. If you need help getting started, seek advice from a trainer, read some books on the subject, or use resources available online.

Ditch Processed Foods
When you eat highly processed foods, you consume excessive amounts of sodium (which causes your body to retain extra body weight in the form of water), sugar (which causes uncontrollable cravings), and all sorts of chemicals like artificial sweeteners, colorings, and preservatives. Opt instead for whole foods like meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and healthy fats.

Get Some Rest
It’s widely accepted in the fitness world that sleep is just as, if not even more, important as regular exercise. Your body needs adequate sleep in order to recover from exercise and a lack of sleep is a huge contributor to unhealthy cravings. Plus, without enough sleep, you’re less likely to have the energy you need to exercise! If you have trouble falling asleep at night, start turning off your electronic devices at least 30 minutes (or more!) before bed, engage in relaxing activities such as reading a book or sipping herbal tea, and make sure your bedroom is a relaxing place to sleep by keeping it dark, cool, and quiet.

Manage Your Stress
Chronic stress not only disrupts our sleep, but is also related to elevated blood pressure, decreased physical performance, and an increase of abdominal fat. Take time out of your day, every day, to do something that brings you joy. It could simply be going for a walk with your dog or lighting some candles and taking a bath. Make sure you aren’t over-committing yourself in your work or personal life and consider starting a gratitude journal to remind yourself of all you have to be thankful for.

HIIT

HIIT
High-Intensity Interval Training has received a lot of attention recently and for good reason; if you’re looking for an effective fat burning workout, HIIT is the way to go. Not only can you effectively burn more calories in a shorter amount of time, but by utilizing both your body’s aerobic and anaerobic systems, you can create a greater after burn effect. 1-2 sessions per week of HIIT is typically all you need to see great results.

Moderate Cardio
While HIIT is certainly effective, it shouldn’t replace regular, steady-state cardio. Moderate intensity means you are working hard enough that holding a conversation would be difficult, but not impossible. Some examples could include swimming, walking on an incline, or riding a bike.

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