Saturday, February 25, 2006

Exercise and Diet Lower High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure has two components: the higher systolic when your heart contracts, and the lower diastolic when your heart relaxes. You have high blood pressure when your systolic
is above 120 or your diastolic is above 80. Ninety-one percent of Americans will eventually develop high blood pressure, which increases their risk for heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, kidney damage and other blood vessel disease.Doctors do not diagnose high blood pressure with a single reading because some people have reactive hypertension that is not as dangerous as persistent hypertension. If you get one high reading in your doctor’s office, check your own blood pressure daily and chart the results. You can use the self-test stations that are available in many pharmacies, or buy your own blood pressure cuff for about fifty dollars.

Healthy people have their blood pressures drop in the evening. The person at highest risk for heart attacks and strokes is the one whose high blood pressure does not drop in the evening. If your blood pressure is above 120/80 consistently, particularly in the evening, you have high blood pressure and are at significant risk for serious disease. Check back with your doctor who will usually evaluate you for other risk factors for a heart attack and may prescribe drugs. Whether or not you take medication, you can improve blood pressure with lifestyle changes: diet and exercise. More than 80 percent of hypertensive Americans can bring their blood pressures to normal within a few weeks just by following a diet that emphasizes fruits, egetables, whole grains, beans and other seeds (the DASH diet; see )

A recent study confirms that exercising regularly lowers blood pressure to prevent heart attacks and strokes (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, August 2005). The researchers
showed that you can lower high blood pressure on the first day of vigorous exercise. However, if you are out of shape, a single bout of intense exercise can cause a heart attack. Check with
your doctor, then get a personal trainer or join a health club and learn how to begin a safe and effective exercise program.

I got this information from Dr. Gabe Mirkin at: If you would like to get a weekly email of your own go to: and subscribe. I really do enjoy the health tips that Dr. Mirkin gives. His wife is the cook in the family and she has tons of healthy recipes to share. Go take a look.


At 10:37 AM, Blogger Fred said...

My blood pressure has been 120/70 for ages.

But, it's the rest of me that's falling apart.

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

LOL, i echo Fred's comment!

If i may also add, i read in a medical magazine this week, that if by the time you turn 50 and have not yet suffered high blood pressure, then the chances of you living past 80 are enormous.

At 10:48 PM, Blogger Jeff H said...

I hate to admit this, but I'm apparently living proof that doing absolutely nothing in the way of exercise and precious little "healthy" eating can also lead to low blood pressure.

I'm 45 (46 in March), 5'11", 175# (20 more than I weighed just 18 months ago) and my BP still typically runs 115/70.

At 1:19 AM, Blogger Connie and Rob said...

You are just a wonderful source of information. Thank you for sharing.


At 10:12 AM, Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

I exercise regularly, and my BP is 96/67. My husband thinks I am practically dead!

At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Nettie said...

I find you an inspiration, Jeff.

At 3:10 PM, Blogger Danny Sims said...

How does water help? Drinking it, I mean. I always love your posts. Thanks.

At 6:35 PM, Blogger DayByDay4-2Day said...

We were just discussing this last night. Is the same measurement used on teens?

At 9:54 PM, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

fred - I know what you mean! Going to miss you.

michelle - Oh good, I made it past 50 still under 120 over 80. It's starting to creep up now, so I had better watch my diet and get more excercise.

jeff - be thankful for the blessing.

connie and rob - thanks for stopping by.

barbara - do you get cold hands and feet?

nettie belle - he is a bit of an inspiration isn't he?

danny - I'm not sure but I always hear that drinking eight glasses of water is good for you.

daybyday-2day - as long as you are under the 120/80 it doesn't matter if you are a teen or an adult.


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