Wellness Tips — 15 April 2013
High Blood Pressure – Health Awareness Month.
April 2013 is World Health Awareness Month and the focus is to raise awareness for hypertension. If you think long and hard, you could find a reason to remember a health related issue for each calendar month. Each year the WHO (World Health Organization) brings forward a health concern that needs attention. Having said that, we will examine what causes high blood pressure and what can be done to prevent it?
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
There are many causes linked to High Blood Pressure.
1. Stiff blood vessels.
2. Hormonal issues.
3. Dietary Intake such as:
a. fat intake.
b. salt intake.
4. Oxidative stress.
a. from the foods we eat.
b. from the toxins that we take in.
c. from the heavy metals in the air.
5. If you give a public speech.
6. If you get upset.
7. If you eat too much meat.
8. If you eat too much cheese.
Having symptoms of high blood pressure increases your risk for heart disease or stroke. That’s why it’s nicknamed as the silent killer. It could affect your whole body, which causes damage to the
4. blood vessels.
5. and kidneys.
All of which could lead to serious health problems.
Six High Blood Pressure Facts:
1. Tobacco. – According to the Mayo Clinic, tobacco can increase your blood pressure because of the stimulant
nicotine. This causes the blood vessels to get tighter and tighter. The chemicals from smoking can also damage the lining of your arteries which cause pulmonary hypertension. It can be also linked to memory loss.
2. Alcohol. – Drinking two glasses of alcohol a day can raise blood pressure. Too much alcohol can:
a. affect the liver.
b. damage the heart.
3. Salt. – Salt has been used for years as a preservative. It helps keep meat from spoiling. Too much salt in the diet
puts a strain on your arteries. Most packaged foods are high in processed salts. When you eat processed and packaged foods, you cannot control the salt content. Too much salt spells trouble.
Foods high in salt:
b. salty chips.
c. canned soups.
d. dilled pickles.
e. fast food.
g. canned goods.
h. frozen dinners.
1. Barbecue sauce.
2. Soy sauce.
– As stated above, the American diet is full of salt and preservatives because it feeds into our “hurry up” lifestyle.
If the pace is a little slower and more dedicated to eating clean food then very little salt would enter the body.
5. Physical Activity. – Helps regulate blood pressure. It’s important to devote some time to your regular workouts
6. Weight. – The heart and blood vessels have to work extra hard to pump blood throughout the body. Too much
body weight increases the risk of a variety of health issues. Nutrition and exercise can help lower your blood pressure.
How to Prevent High Blood Pressure.
Age and ethnicity also play a role in being diagnosed with the disease. Hypertension can be prevented if you take the right steps. For example, brisk walking just 30 minutes a day and taking 10,000 steps can increase your cardiovascular flow and help pump vital nutrients to your cells. This will help move out fat, trim waistlines and eat up unused calories. Walking can reduce mental and physical stress, which is win-win. Unlike many diseases, hypertension is treatable. For instance, the treatment for high blood pressure without medication depends on your commitment to a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some things you should consider:
1. Will you exercise regularly?
2. Will you follow a well-balanced diet?
a. foods low in sodium.
b. foods low in sugar.
3. Will you cut out processed foods?
a. hot dogs.
e. Luncheon meats.
f. canned fish such as:
4. Can you stop smoking?
5. Can you stop drinking?
6. Will you get more sleep?
7. Will you lose extra pounds?
If you currently take blood pressure medication, you should consult with your physician to discuss healthy lifestyle changes. For additional tips on how you can prevent heart disease or stroke, visit the Mayo Clinic website.
As your health and fitness coach, we can help you choose a nutrition and fitness plan for your needs. With common health issues like high blood pressure and obesity, health awareness should be at the forefront of our minds.