The Best Exercise To Lower Blood Pressure
Just about every person dealing with high blood pressure knows that exercise can help. But a new study shows that one kind of workout is particularly effective in reducing hypertension.
Doing it for just 15 minutes a day can lower your blood pressure nearly twice as much as taking standard medications.
The research was presented at the European Society of Cardiology conference in Munich.1
Sixty volunteers with hypertension were divided into groups. Some did simple yoga poses. Others did stretching, relaxation, or deep breathing exercises. They did the activity for 15 minutes a day for three months.
The relaxation group had no reduction in blood pressure. The stretching group had a 4.5% average drop and the deep breathing group saw their numbers go down 7.1%.
The yoga group had the biggest blood pressure drop. Their blood pressure went down by an average 9.7%.
This means that a person with blood pressure of 140/90 at the beginning of the study would see their readings reduced by about 14/9, going to 126/81.
Two widely used medications, ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers , bring down blood pressure by an average of 8/5, according to a separate study.2
In other words, just 15 minutes of yoga a day reduces blood pressure nearly twice as much as standard drugs.
Professor Ashok Pandey was the lead researcher. The yoga poses used in the study are simple and dont require a lot of flexibility and really anyone can do them, he said.3
How Does Blood Pressure Work
Blood pressure is the force against blood vessel walls as the heart pumps blood. When the heart squeezes and pushes blood into the vessels, blood pressure goes up. It comes down when the heart relaxes.
Blood pressure changes from minute to minute. It’s affected by activity and rest, body temperature, diet, emotions, posture, and medicines.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure
Most of the time high blood pressure doesn’t cause symptoms. In rare cases, severe high blood pressure can cause headaches, blurry vision, dizziness, nosebleeds, a fluttering or racing heartbeat, and nausea.
If your child has high blood pressure and gets any of these symptoms, get medical care right away.
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Reduce Stress Through Meditation And Rest
Chronic stress can lead to chronic elevations in the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, says Dr. Desai. These hormones constrict the arteries and cause weight gain, which further increases blood pressure.
He recommends reducing stress by using breathing exercises, practicing meditation, completing physical exercise, practicing yoga, logging quality sleep, taking breaks throughout the day, spending time in nature, listening to music and eating a balanced diet.
What Is The Treatment For High Blood Pressure
Mild high blood pressure can often be treated by making lifestyle changes, including:
- losing weight
- limiting your alcohol intake to no more than 2 drinks per day for men, or 1 drink per day for women with high blood pressure
However, lifestyle changes may not be enough. Some people also need medication to help reduce blood pressure levels to normal. While medicines are usually very effective at lowering blood pressure, they may cause side effects in some people.
Usually doctors will start a person on a low dose of a medicine and see how it goes. If it doesnt work well enough, or if there are troublesome side effects, other medicines will be used, sometimes in combination, until the blood pressure is controlled. This can take time. Some people will take medicines for life, although others will find that continuing to lose weight and changing their diet reduces the need for medicines.
Someone whose blood pressure is very high or causing symptoms such as headache, or if they have conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, may need urgent treatment with medicines to bring the blood pressure down to normal levels.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners recommends that you regularly review with your doctor or specialist any medications you are taking for high blood pressure or high cholesterol to assess the ongoing benefits and risks. For further information, visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website.
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Favorite Online Support Networks
This online support group from the American Heart Association allows you to connect with others going through an array of heart issues, including hypertension. Ask questions, share your story, and get peer support from others going through similar experiences to take control of their heart health.
Living With High Blood Pressure
Controlling your high blood pressure is a lifelong commitment. You will always need to monitor your weight, make healthy food choices, exercise, learn to cope with stress, avoid smoking, and limit your alcohol intake. If you need medicine to control your high blood pressure, you will likely need it all your life.
Additionally, you will need to get used to regular blood pressure checks. Your doctor may want you to come to the office regularly. Or you may be asked to check your blood pressure at home and keep track of your numbers for your doctor. Some pharmacies and retail clinics have blood pressure machines on site. You can buy your own, automated arm blood pressure cuff for use at home. Your doctor may want you to check your blood pressure several times a day. Another option is to use an ambulatory blood pressure monitor.
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When Blood Pressure Dips Too Low
To avoid feeling dizzy or faint when you first get up in the morning, pump your legs a few times to get your blood flowing before standing up.Image: Thinkstock
Do you ever feel dizzy or faint when you stand up? Here’s one common reasonand what to do about it.
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- Research health conditions
- Prepare for a doctor’s visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Water Content In The Diet
A diet high in processed foods full of salt and sugar will increase your blood pressure. However, a diet rich in vegetables and fruit will lower your blood pressure. You will want to get organic fruit and vegetables when available, which are free from pesticides.
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Causes And Risk Factors Of High Blood Pressure
The following can increase your chances of developing high blood pressure.
Older age The risk of high blood pressure increases as you age.
According to the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey , 70 percent of adults age 65 or older have hypertension.
The risk of prehypertension and high blood pressure has been increasing in recent years in young people, too, including children and teens, possibly because of the rise of obesity in these populations.
Race High blood pressure is more common in Black American adults than in white or Hispanic American adults.
Family history Having a family history of high blood pressure increases your risk, as the condition tends to run in families.
Being overweight The more you weigh, the more blood you need to supply oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. As the volume of blood circulating through your blood vessels increases, so does the pressure on your artery walls. Obesity especially abdominal obesity also increases stiffness in arteries, which raises blood pressure.
Lack of physical activity People who are inactive tend to have a higher heart rate and higher blood pressure than those who are physically active. Not exercising also increases the risk of being overweight.
Dietary choices What you choose to eat can increase your risk for hypertension, including in the following ways:
Alcohol consumption Drinking more than two drinks a day for men and more than one drink a day for women may raise your blood pressure.
How To Increase Low Blood Pressure Naturally & Quickly: 11 Tips
Low blood pressure is a serious problem like hypertension. How blood pressure may inflict untold damage to the body and mind. It causes symptoms such as dizziness, fainting, fatigue, difficulty breathing, nausea, palpitations, blurred vision and cold, clammy skin. The condition may be caused by issues such as dehydration, nutritional deficiencies, prolonged bed rest, heart problems, pregnancy, a reduction in blood volume, neurological conditions and endocrine disorders. Certain medications such as beta blockers, diuretics, antidepressants, alpha blockers, and others may also lead to the problem of low blood pressure. You can try several simple ways to alleviate symptoms. In this article, VKool.com will show you 11 solutions on how to increase low blood pressure naturally and quickly. The writing collected a list of safe and effective solutions for treating low blood pressure from reliable sources. However, it is not intended to give medical advice and it is solely for the informational purpose. Keep reading this writing to learn these 11 solutions on how to increase low blood pressure in more detail!
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How Is High Blood Pressure Treated
If high blood pressure is due to a condition like kidney disease or lung disease, treating it might be enough to get the blood pressure back to normal.
Doctors also might recommend lifestyle changes for kids with hypertension, such as:
Eating a healthy diet:
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy.
- Limit salt.
- Avoid alcohol.
Getting regular exercise for 3060 minutes at least 3 times a week. Kids with severe hypertension should not do any weightlifting or power-lifting, bodybuilding, or strength training until their blood pressure is under control and a doctor says it’s OK.
People with high blood pressure should not smoke, and their home and car should be smoke-free.
If diet and exercise changes do not improve the blood pressure, doctors may prescribe medicine.
Eat More Foods High In Magnesium
A small study in the International Journal of Hypertension found magnesium supplementation can reduce blood pressure in small amountsNguyen H, Odelola OA, Rangaswami J, Amanullah A. A Review of Nutritional Factors in Hypertension Management. International Journal of Hypertension. 2013 698940. . Talk to your doctor before taking magnesium supplements, especially if you have kidney disease. You can also safely incorporate high-magnesium foods into your diet. Dr. Desai recommends foods like leafy green vegetables and unsalted almonds.
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Who Is At Risk For High Blood Pressure
Anyone can develop high blood pressure, but there are certain factors that can increase your risk:
- Age – Blood pressure tends to rise with age
- Race/Ethnicity – High blood pressure is more common in African American adults
- Weight – People who are overweight or have obesity are more likely to develop high blood pressure
- Sex – Before age 55, men are more likely than women to develop high blood pressure. After age 55, women are more likely than men to develop it.
- Lifestyle – Certain lifestyle habits can raise your risk for high blood pressure, such as eating too much sodium or not enough potassium, lack of exercise, drinking too much alcohol, and smoking.
- Family history – A family history of high blood pressure raises the risk of developing high blood pressure
What Are The Symptoms Of Resistant Hypertension
You can have hypertension without having any symptoms. The best way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have your blood pressure checked by a health care provider.
However, symptoms may be felt when blood pressure first rises or during a hypertensive crisis, when levels are extremely high. These symptoms may include headaches, shortness of breath, chest pain and nosebleeds.
Dizziness is usually not a symptom of high blood pressure. In fact, dizziness can sometimes be a symptom of low blood pressure. Frequent or unexplained dizziness may be a warning sign of a serious condition and should be addressed by your physician.
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Blood Pressure Changes And Anxiety
Anxiety is the activation of your fight or flight system a system designed to keep you safe from harm when no danger is present. The fight or flight system causes a number of physical changes that would help you respond to a predator or threat if one was present, but can be distressing when they occur without that danger.
Different types of anxiety can affect your blood pressure in different ways. To understand how anxiety can impact blood pressure, first you must gain a basic understanding of blood pressure and how it fluctuates.
Finally, it is always important to remember that blood pressure fluctuates throughout the day due to exertion, diet, hydration, and more. Blood pressure is not constant even if you do not have any anxiety. So “high blood pressure” may not be high blood pressure at all, and may instead be a reading during one of these fluctuations.
What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Pressure
Most people who have high blood pressure do not have symptoms. This is why its sometimes called the silent killer. It is very important to have your blood pressure checked regularly.
Some people experience headaches, nosebleeds, or shortness of breath with high blood pressure. However, those symptoms can mimic many other things . Usually, these symptoms occur once blood pressure has reached a dangerously high level over a period of time.
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Comparison Of Sodium In Foods
Meats, poultry, fish, and shellfish
Food: Milligrams sodium
Fresh meat, 3 oz. cooked: Less than 90 mg
Shellfish, 3 oz: 100 to 325 mg
Tuna, canned, 3 oz: 300 mg
Lean ham, 3 oz.: 1,025 mg
*Whole milk, 1 cup: 120 mg
Skim or 1% milk, 1 cup: 125 mg
*Buttermilk , 1 cup: 260 mg
*Swiss cheese, 1 oz: 75 mg
*Cheddar cheese, 1 oz : 175 mg
Low-fat cheese, 1 oz.: 150 mg
*Cottage cheese , 1/2 cup: 455 mg
Food: Milligrams sodium
Fresh or frozen vegetables, and no-salt-added canned , 1/2 cup: Less than 70 mg
Vegetables canned or frozen , 1/2 cup: 55-470 mg
Tomato juice, canned, 3/4 cup: 660 mg
Breads, cereals, rice and pasta
Food: Milligrams sodium
Bread, 1 slice: 110-175 mg
English muffin : 130 mg
Ready-to-eat, shredded wheat, 3/4 cup: Less than 5 mg
Cooked cereal , 1/2 cup: Less than 5 mg
Instant cooked cereal, 1 packet: 180 mg
Canned soups, 1 cup: 600-1,300 mg
Food: Milligrams sodium
Canned and frozen main dishes, 8 oz: 500-1,570 mg
*These can also be high in saturated fat, unless low-fat or reduced fat options are purchased.
*High in saturated fat.
Drink Alcohol In Moderation
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol will increase your blood pressure and raise the cholesterol levels in your blood.
Sticking to the recommended amounts of alcohol consumption is the best way to reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure.
The recommended daily limits of alcohol consumption are:
- 3 to 4 units of alcohol for men
- 2 to 3 units of alcohol for women.
A unit of alcohol is equal to about half a pint of normal-strength lager, a small glass of wine or a pub measure or spirits.
More about drinking alcohol reponsibly
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Ways To Lower Your Blood Pressure
1. Maintain a healthy weight
2. Reduce central obesity
Having excess fat around the waistline puts you at risk of hypertension and related heart disease. You can reduce the fat around your middle through various exercises, including jogging, walking, hiking, rowing, swimming and high-intensity interval training .
3. Stay physically active
The American Heart Association recommends doing 90-150 minutes of physical activity spread throughout the week or at least 30 minutes each day for at least 5 days a week.
4. Quit smoking
Smoking causes the buildup of plaque in the blood vessels that leads to high blood pressure. Try to quit smoking and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke. Ask your doctor if you need help figuring out the best way to do this. Joining a program designed to help you quit smoking may help.
5. Get enough sleep
6. Manage stress
Stress releases hormones that temporarily raise blood pressure. Learn to manage stress by doing activities that relax you and make you feel good. These may include simple things like taking a long walk in nature, listening to music, or pursuing hobbies you enjoy. You can also try deep breathing and meditation techniques.
7. Eat heart-healthy foods
Heart Attack And Heart Disease
High blood pressure can damage your arteries by making them less elastic, which decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart and leads to heart disease. In addition, decreased blood flow to the heart can cause:
- Chest pain, also called angina.
- Heart attack, which happens when the blood supply to your heart is blocked and heart muscle begins to die without enough oxygen. The longer the blood flow is blocked, the greater the damage to the heart.
- Heart failure, a condition that means your heart cant pump enough blood and oxygen to your other organs.