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Safe Exercise (High Blood Pressure)

What is the most effective exercise for people with high blood pressure that is also safe?

…My in-laws offered me an expensive cookbook for Christmas. Everyone knows how much I love to cook. My response was quick: “Please, don’t give me cookbooks. They encourage me to cook and eat more. As I spend more time in the kitchen, I gain weight with all the health risks attached. Give me a FITBIT instead.” For those who never heard of Fitbit, this device counts steps and measures burnt calories.

Three days later, a package from Amazon arrived with a tiny smart device that makes me walk more… Much more.

Conversation before she started walking

Conversation before she started walking

… and after:

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DASH Diet Plan Works Better With These Changes…

If you are exploring the DASH diet plan for hypertension and have your systolic blood pressure over 130, you might want to learn about the ENCORE study. You need to achieve a significant reduction in your blood pressure, and this study has tested and published the way to do it. Simply put, it has concluded that combining the DASH Diet Plan with two more actions helps to reduce blood pressure by 45% more than the DASH diet alone.

Doctor surprised at high blood pressure

Don't surprise your doctor... Lower high blood pressure

About ENCORE Study

Conducted in 2008, this study included overweight and obese individuals who don’t take medications and have prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension (systolic BP, 130-159 mm Hg; or diastolic BP, 85-99 mm Hg).

Participants were split into three groups:

  • control group that did not change anything
  • group #2 on theDASH diet plan alone
  • group #3 on the DASH diet with weight management

The study was conducted over the course of 4 months and produced very encouraging results for those of us who need to lower blood pressure:

  • the DASH plus weight loss group #3 had reduced blood pressure by 16.1/9.9 mm Hg
  • the Dash diet alone group #2 achieved a drop in their blood pressure by 11.2/7.5 mm
  • And the group that did nothing had a 3.4/3.8 mm reduction.

There were more positive side effects beside reducing blood pressure. But let us stop and think for a moment. Reducing your blood pressure by 16 points can move you out of the risk zone for a heart attack, kidney failure, congestive heart failure and stroke. This action alone may save your life.

Hypertension facts

Consider these hypertension facts for a moment:

  • From 1996 to 2006 the death rate from high blood pressure increased 19.5 percent, and the actual number of deaths rose 48.1 percent. It was the highest among African Americans of a non-Hispanic descent.
  • Every 45 seconds someone has a stroke in the United States, every 3-4 minutes someone dies. Those who survive have great chances of losing quality of life. One study of stroke survivors over 65 years of age showed that
    • 30% needed assistance to walk
    • 26% needed help with activities such as cooking, feeding, and paying their bills
    • 19% had trouble speaking, or understanding others when they speak
    • 35% had feelings of depression
    • 50% had some degree of paralysis on one side of the body
    • 26% became nursing home residents
  • Chances of stroke drop by one third with each 10 mm Hg lower systolic blood pressure. The association is consistent across sexes, regions, and stroke subtypes and for fatal and nonfatal events.
  • Every seven minutes a heart attack happens in Canada. Heart disease is strongly associated with high blood pressure.
  • the DASH diet plan and weight loss work better than the Dash Diet Plan alone

    The Encore study is one of many that concluded that weight management results in lower blood pressure. What does it mean for you?

    Adding two changes to your lifestyle will help you reduce blood pressure faster. These changes are:

    • Exercise
    • Limiting calories in your daily food intake

    Exercise to lower blood pressure

    If you are overweight, it may be hard for you to run or do weight lifting. Start with walking.

      1. Walking

    Some ideas on how to make a daily walk a part of your life:

      • Download your favourite music or books onto your mp3 player. Walk in the park or in your neighbourhood while listening.
      • Walk up and down the stairs at work and at home. One example is – when you have to bring a bunch of things downstairs, bring them one by one. Climbing stairs is an amazing exercise that gets your heart rate up quickly
      • Walk to a convenience store.
      • Join the walking group. Having social support helps to stay on track and get better results faster
    1. You can also join Weight Watchers, a program that has a proven track record of losing weight and keeping it off.
    2. You can join an online weight loss community and start making serious changes. Having community support raises your chances of success. By increasing your muscle mass you will cause calories to burn faster, and accelerate your weight loss. Check out Bestseller Fat Loss Coach Tom Venuto and join his Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle community.
    3. Breathing exercises have been an effective way to lower blood pressure quickly.
    4. Yoga, especially Bikram yoga, lowers blood pressure as well.

    Diet for high blood pressure

    The DASH diet plan alone can help you lower blood pressure by 11 points. However, consider the 1200 calorie or 1600 calorie DASH diet to cause weight loss. I have several articles and recipes on this site to help you understand the benefits and dangers of the 1200 calorie DASH diet plan. You can find recipes and explanations on how to build your own DASH diet plan.

    In conclusion, when a heart event or stroke happens, all we can do is feel sorry for not taking action in the past. This is if we can even feel anything, assuming we have survived these debilitating events. Starting to make small changes in your life, such as eating more by the DASH diet guidelines and being more physically active is a good prevention tactic that may save your life.

    References:
    1. Blood Pressure and Stroke: An Overview of Published Reviews
    2. Encore study
    3. Heart Attack Recovery Facts

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Easy Ways To Lower Blood Pressure

by Christian Goodman

High Blood Pressure can affect anyone. While we know that there are certain types of people that are more prone to high blood pressure than others, everyone is a potential candidate.

High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) knows no racial barriers. Neither is age a barrier as there have been cases of high blood pressure in the very young as well as the very old.

Some that appear to be as fit as a fiddle have dropped dead of heart attack and stroke brought on by high blood pressure. At the same time, some people that are obese have relatively normal readings.

Since there is no special category of person who can be assured they will not be at risk – everyone needs to have it checked at least periodically.

It is important to know that one stand alone abnormal reading is not necessarily a case in which immediate action must be taken. Consideration must be paid to potential one time factors such as what activity a person was just engaged in prior to the reading.

Pain can create a brief rise in your blood pressure so having it monitored while you have a toothache or a headache can produce misleading results. The same can be said of stress. If you’ve had a long, frustrating day at work your blood pressure might be elevated.

Ideally, your blood pressure should be taken after sitting for at least five minutes. You should never take it just after having a cigarette or drinking anything containing caffeine. Don’t trust a reading that is taken when you are emotionally excited for any reason.

If the readings are consistently high, then a plan to help reduce your blood pressure should be considered. Weight is a common culprit.

Even a weight loss of a few pounds can lead to a reduction in blood pressure. A healthy lifestyle with regular exercise will benefit your body and mind in many ways.

Many foods contain extraordinary amounts of sodium – another factor in hypertension. Increasing your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables in lieu of processed foods can result in much healthier blood pressure readings.

Many foods we normally eat out of convenience or habit can be contributing to hypertension.

Perhaps the most drastic improvement in a person’s blood pressure reading can come from simple relaxation. Stress is thought to be one of the primary contributing factors in hypertension.

The mind will also benefit from relaxation. A clear head leads to better decisions in our lives.

A combination of less salt, better exercise and good relaxation can go a long way toward your good health.

A few minutes a day with my High Blood Pressure Program will bring amazing results. The exercises are easy and can be done almost anywhere.

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Christian Goodman is a well known natural health researcher and the author of many natural health alternatives. His recent work on managing high blood pressure has helped thousands of people lower their blood pressure.

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Hypertension Warning Signs

The scary truth is that most people experience no hypertension warning signs at all.

Blood pressure statistics show that one in three US women has hypertension. This is a whopping 13 million women who are at elevated risk of heart attack, stroke, cardiac arrest and other heart events that lead to death or disability.

The sad part of this, though, is that one in four of these women is not even aware that she has high blood pressure. If you do your math, eight women out of every hundred have no idea that they are in danger.

Hypertension warning signs are practically non-existent. When most people feel them, their blood pressure is so high, that their lives are in danger.

However, some people do feel warning signs and symptoms of hypertension. Besides nausea and headache, frequently referred to by the representatives of the medical profession, people feel other symptoms of high blood pressure.

Women describe hypertension warning signs

Here are some descriptions by high blood pressure sufferers:

When my BP is up I have symptoms. I know they call it the “silent killer” but I know when it’s up. I get a terrible headache and frequent urination.

… I checked my blood pressure at Wal-Mart (I had been very nauseous for several days and had a constant, almost debilitating migraine) and it was 171/113! I knew I was a walking time bomb, and despite my own self-harming behaviors, I really DON’T want to die young!

I definitely felt WAY out of sorts, almost like an out of control hotness and just unwell. Some people do feel headaches when it’s really high too. There is a reason they call it the silent killer, because most people don’t know. But you are pretty astute to be able to sense when you are not quite right.

And the case where the situation went way out of control:

On May 21 I woke up to find I’d had a second stroke. When the paramedics took my B/P it was 170/95 on both sides. I was transferred from my local hospital to the hospital where my surgeon was and my surgery was put ahead to the next day.

As you can see from the testimonies of these women, they felt unwell, they had headaches and other subtle signs that something was not right. Always, always check your blood pressure if you feel these kinds of signs. Even better, go for your annual check up, and your doctor will measure your blood pressure and make sure you know where you stand.

If you happen to be an African American woman, you have even more reasons to be concerned.
Death statistics are hard to ignore:

In 2006 the death rates per 100,000 population from high blood pressure were 15.6 for white males, 51.1 for black males, 14.3 for white females and 37.7 for black females

As you can see, for some reason African American women and men alike die of hypertension three times more often that white men and women.

Controlling Hypertension

Your first step in controlling hypertension is simple: become aware that you need to control it. Measure your blood pressure using publicly available blood pressure monitors, ask your doctor, and find out whether you need to control your hypertension.

Your second step is to reduce your blood pressure, whether naturally or with the help of drugs.

Your next step is experimenting with natural ways to reduce blood pressure in order to find out which one is the most effective for you.

Most people who don’t want to take drugs, choose to control their hypertension with the following methods:
- Exercise
- Weight Loss
- Stress reduction (yoga, breathing, meditation)
- DASH diet for hypertension
- Low Sodium diet
- High Potassium-Magnesium diet
- Low fat plant-based diet.

As everyone is different, these methods have different impacts on the individual blood pressure levels.

Don’t wait to experience hypertension warning signs… Check your blood pressure regularly.

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Exercise to Lower Blood Pressure

“How effective is exercise for lowering blood pressure?” This question runs through the minds of many people who were recently diagnosed with hypertension or pre-hypertension. Although doctors recommend it, many people don’t find either the time or the desire for rigorous exercise. Many, especially women, dislike gym workouts and are unsure of what kind of exercise helps to lower blood pressure.
I have researched the topic of exercise to lower blood pressure in great depth and will share the good news and great tips with you momentarily… Keep reading!

Hypertension definition

First of all, let us define hypertension and the risks associated with it. Hypertension, a.k.a high blood pressure, is defined as the elevation of systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) to over 140/90 mmHg. Continue reading “Exercise to Lower Blood Pressure” »

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