Controlling and Reducing Blood Pressure

Blood pressure increases with age. In 90 to 95 percent of the cases in adults, there's no identifiable cause. This type of HBP, called essential hypertension or primary hypertension, tends to develop gradually over many years. For years the medical world accepted gradually higher pressures as people aged. Even today the guideline of 100 plus your age is acceptable by some medical experts.

The reasons why blood pressure increases with age are still poorly understood, but are a topic of intense research. Some known contributors include:

  • Age-related changes in hormone profiles
  • A tendency for older people to oversalt their food because of decreased taste bud sensitivity
  • Changes that happen in the walls of arteries and other blood vessels
  • Decreased efficiency of the heart

Although these reasons are rather vague, they do make sense. Another thing that makes sense, generally speaking, is that lower is better.

Put yourself in charge of your blood pressure.

If you are over 60 and often have a systolic (upper) reading of over 140, you should monitor it regularly and make a concerted effort to control it. This may mean a change in lifestyle because the best way to reduce and control HBP is by diet and exercise.

DietThe DASH diet(Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is a great guideline not only for hypertension but for general wellness.

Specifically the DASH diet plan includes the following for diets from 1600 to 3100 calories:

Grains and grain products (include at least 3 whole grain foods each day) 6 to 12 servings

Fruits; 4 to 6 servings

Vegetables;4 to 6 servings

Low fat or non fat dairy foods; 2 to 4 servings

Lean meats, fish, poultry; 1.5 to 2.5 servings

Nuts, seeds, and legumes; 3 to 6 servings per week

Fats and sweets; 2 to 4 servings

ExerciseYou should exercise five to six times per week depending on your initial fitness level. However, improvement can be achieved with as little as three sessions per week. The total exercise duration should be in the range of 30 to 60 minutes per session.

Endurance activities such as walking, swimming, cycling and low-impact aerobics should be the core of your exercise program.

People with lower levels of fitness should start with shorter durations (10 to 15 minutes) and gradually (5 minute increments every 2 to 4 weeks) increase to the 30- to 60- minute goal.

Your exercise program should become a lifelong habit for total wellness and feeling good. Nothing is more important than feeling good.

Some additional good stuff

  • Potassium and magnesium usually go hand-in-hand for controlling HBP. Eat whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables and most nuts.
  • Garlic should be a staple in everyone's diet. It is particularly good for anything having to do with the circulatory system
  • Calcium is essential to controlling hypertension. If you eat a lot of animal protein you need more calcium because animal protein can leech the calcium from your body
  • Omega 3 fatty acids as found in fish can be a significant factor in controlling and reducing HBP,/LI>

  • Celery...three to four celery stalks can actually produce adequate amounts of active chemicals that cause a desired result in reducing HBP.
  • Hawthorn..The herb hawthorn is often used by traditional herbal practitioners for controlling HBP.

Most people over 60 will deal with this problem eventually. Attitude is everything. You know there are lots of things you can do to change your life. A positive, conscious, active approach will produce positive results. Change your thinking; change your life.

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