Why Controlling Your Blood Pressure is Crucial
See if you can answer a couple of important questions. Do you understand the importance of blood pressure control? Do you check your blood pressure regularly? Can you feel it when your blood pressure is above the normal range? Is there a pounding in your head? Does your chest feel tight? Do you get dizzy? Does your vision blur? Does your face turn red?
These could all be symptoms you see or feel…but not always.
You could feel perfectly fine and still have high blood pressure. That’s right, you could have no symptoms at all. It doesn’t seem fair, does it? The damage that high blood pressure does to your body if left untreated can cause anything from a stroke to a heart attack to kidney failure. And you might not even know you have it.
Everyone has blood pressure “ups and downs” on a daily basis. Your blood pressure may be normal most of the time except during a particularly stressful situation, or maybe even after consuming a salty meal. That’s a reactionary spike to something tangible, for the most part. It’s when those numbers stay high continually that you need to take action.
A blood pressure spike is not necessarily dangerous in and of itself, if you only have one occasionally. But if you are having spikes every week, blood vessel damage can occur. Let your Doctor know.
At your doctors office you could have a higher reading than normal. Sometimes the simple act of going to see the doctor can cause a spike. This is commonly known as “white coat syndrome” and you could potentially be diagnosed with a blood pressure problem due to that simple reaction.
Good doctors recognize this phenomenon and if your blood pressure is high in the office, they will take steps to check it at other times as well to make sure it isn’t a syndrome spike. Other doctors might just pull out a prescription pad and put you on medication.
There are things you can do to control your blood pressure without medications.
Regaining the superior health you once had can begin when you realize that the medication your doctor recommends is not healing you or making you well, and that being truly well is really up to you. Managing your symptoms by means of unnatural chemical manipulation doesn’t truly fix the underlying problem.
Lifestyle and dietary changes can make a huge difference in your health.
Did you know that regular exercise will help lower your blood pressure? It’s true. Regular exercise strengthens your heart muscle and also keeps your blood vessels healthy. It also lowers your resting heart rate, which is an indication of a healthy heart.
If you haven’t been active for awhile, it’s best to begin exercising at a moderate level. In other words, don’t go all out right at first. Here’s a nifty formula to keep in mind when you’re getting back into “exercise mode” after having taken a year or more off. Track your heart rate during your exercise routine.
The formula is this : Your maximum heart rate (MHR) should be 220 minus your age, but not at first. At first you shouldn’t allow your heart rate to get above 45% of MHR until you’ve been exercising long enough to increase its’ stamina. Then after you’ve been REGULAR with your exercise regimen for several months, you can gradually increase your MHR to 70% of 220 minus your age. So for a 50 year old person (male or female) who has not been active but decides to begin an exercise regimen: The first 3 or 4 months, slow it down after your heart rate has reached those limits.
For example: I am 59 years old. My resting heart rate first thing in the morning is around 75 bpm (beats per minute). I check it pretty regularly because I would really like to get it down to around 60 or 65. That’s probably going to take some time. But that’s ok. I generally work out at the gym every other morning. I don’t allow my working heartbeat to get above 120/min and I’ve already dropped my resting heart rate from 90 to 75. That only took a few months so I’m pretty happy because I can see improvement. My heart is working more efficiently.
I don’t do a super hard workout. I start on the treadmill and I do a mile of brisk walking with a few minutes of jogging in the middle. A warmup walk, jog, cool down walk. One mile mark, all done. Then I’m ready for crunches, leg press, and hammerpulls. I work as many of the muscle groups as I feel like working. I work up a light sweat, then go and stretch out.
Since I have made the gym workouts a regular thing, my blood pressure has also levelled out at around 116-125 over 65-70. At one time I was experiencing those higher spikes, but I check it twice a week now and it is staying consistently within normal range. Exercise is not the only thing I do, but it’s always going to be a big part of my cardiovascular self-care system.