Health spotlight: 6 ways to help reduce high blood pressure



About one-third Americans have hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, with another 20% to 25% having pre-hypertension meaning they’re likely to develop full-blown hypertension in the future. Hypertension comes with an increased risk of stroke, heart attack and kidney failure, making it the number one cause of death in the world.

While a lot of people don’t know that they have hypertension, there’s a good likelihood you do if you drink alcohol, consume a high-salt and high-calorie diet, don’t eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, and don’t exercise.

It goes without saying that you should always consult a healthcare professional about any major lifestyle changes. But if your doctor has told you have hypertension or pre-hypertension, or you suspect you might based on your diet or level of activity, what can you do about it?

  1. Lose weight: Men, you’re at risk if your waist measurement is greater than 40 in., for women, it’s greater than 35 in. Losing just 10 lbs can help reduce your blood pressure.
  2. Exercise regularly: Thirty minutes a day of regular physical activity can lower your blood pressure. Some of the best exercises include cycling, jogging, walking and swimming.
  3. Eat healthy: A diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy as well as low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium can significantly lower your blood pressure. If you’re not sure where to begin, speak to your doctor or a dietitian.
  4. Drink less alcohol: Small amounts of alcohol can have a beneficial effect on your blood pressure. But more than one or two drinks a day is a bad idea.
  5. Don’t smoke: Smoking doesn’t only increase your risk for cancer. Each cigarette you smoke raises your blood pressure for several minutes. Stop.
  6. Relax: Stress even occasionally can lead to high blood pressure. Think about what causes you to become anxious, angry or upset and try to find ways to reduce or eliminate these problems or the way you react to them.

None of these suggestions are particularly easy. However, they’re all vitally important in helping reduce high blood pressure and living a long and healthy life. If you’re a bit overwhelmed and unsure where to start, speak to family and friends including other members of the Shop Talk Blog community forum, and of course, your doctor.






Did you know? Beware of saunas

Heat from hot tubs and saunas can cause blood vessels to open up, overexert your heart and cause dizziness, faint, nausea or a heart attack. If you have hypertension, speak to your doctor if you’re thinking of using a hot tub or sauna. (Source)


18 thoughts on “Health spotlight: 6 ways to help reduce high blood pressure

  1. As stated above, High Blood Pressure affects more than a third of US Citizens, and increasingly more individuals in other regions of the world. Usually, there is no inclusion of a so much needed “Healthcare Education” in the Educational Institutions of both, Undergraduate and Graduate levels of Education. Such dismissal of not addressing the rightly denominated : “Silent Killer” as rightfully denominated “High Blood Pressure”. This knowledge is only available to a minority of Healthcare Professionals, and does not even receive a comprehensive teaching of the high risk that “Hypertension” increasingly constitutes to the health, well-being, permanent damage, and/or even sudden death of which is increasingly responsible for millions of “chronic stressed”; “highly burden with problems to which they don’t find solution(s) most of the members of XXIst members of society not only in the United States but in members of others societies living in a world without pause or time for relaxation. This situation should be in the curriculum of the students of both, undergraduate and graduate studies of all Healthcare Professionals Education Curriculum (including, among others, physicians, nurses, psychologies; social workers), and due to its potential permanent damages including sudden death, should be extensively divulged to all members of society, older than six years old, including adolescents, and, adults.
    As a matter of fact, this prioritized subject that is only taught to Cardiologists, and professionals working in such specialized field. Hypertension is denominated by Cardiologists, and, other professionals who work in the rehabilitation of the rightfully denominated “Silent Killer”, because it does not give any symptoms until there might already a permanent damage to the cardiovascular system (specially heart and brain), and consequently to other systems of the affected individuals.. There is available information that if taught early enough, and, by such word I mean taught ‘preventively’, it could avoid that the ‘premonitory’ first symptoms of such a serious cardiovascular condition that is responsible to cause an ‘infarct’ and/or a “stroke”, with consequently producing permanent damage to the diverse systems of the human being who survives them.

    The enormous costs that it would entail for those survivors who will require long-term rehabilitation including secondary effects of a “heart attack”, or permanente damages to functions such as impairment of language, paralysis of one side of the body, caused by an ‘infarct’ and/or a “stroke”, that would change forever their lives and those of his/her families, including “sudden death”, and increased risk of mini-infarctions, and lack of oxygen to other systems of the organism require an extensive preventive and informative program to every citizen regardless of his/her health.
    It is of utmost importance to educate members of society through an extensive and multidisciplinary teams working with citizens of all ages, usually overweight, suffering from chronic stress; sleep disorders; and, levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, that run together with an unbalanced and fatty diet, causes a widespread weight problem, that, worsen the proactiveness of the individual to change his eating habits; lifestyle (including exercise no less than 3 to 4 times a week; seeking professional assistance to assist human beings to internalize the imminent dangers for their lives.

    Main recommendations include: healthy nutrition habits; regular and systematic exercise that helps build up “endorphins”, and, progressively learn to identify, and, in many cases introduce gradual habits to control this systemic problem (unfortunately learned by modeling of an unhealthy living and eating patterns from parents, peers, teachers, etc. A preventive education, that teach what are the healthy parameters of a blood pressure (variable with age), but in any case, should not surpass the systolic blood pressure from 120 and, the diastolic, under 80. So, I would recommend every person to check his cardiovascular health from infancy, throughout their lifetime. As a matter of fact, I would strongly recommend that human beings be taught since their are children to keep his weight and lifestyle under certain standardized parameters. Even without symptoms, a systolic measure higher than 12 and a diastolic measure over 85, is an alarm signal that requires an immediate consultation with a Cardiologist; a strengthening of the emotional problems (of which the participants are suffering from (such as, bullying in school; low self-esteem; look for a place in the educational system to teach problem solving and positive coping skills; empower these problem that keeps increasing in the larger society, to become conscious of his/her bodies, and early on, develop a positive attitude towards diverse healthy exercises, such as walking; jogging; get involved in yoga; learn relaxation techniques, and, moreover, be as assertive as possible in helping obese individuals “get in contact with their body, mind, and, emotions, so they can reach for available help from a variety of trained professionals.

    The relevance of a healthy structure of sleep (enough hours, including delta sleep and the significance of nightmares, and/or lack of sufficient hours of sleep, without constant disruptions during the night, might be the “life restoration” that we all need. Specifically, delta sleep (phases 3 and 4 of sleep, that tend to occur in the 3rd beginning of sleep, is responsible of restoring bodily functions, since it coincides with the immunologic hormone that peaks in the first 3rd part of sleep; and, the so called “REM” sleep (when we dream even if we are not conscious of having dreamed , which tends to occur towards the last 3rd part of sleeping), is responsible of restoring our mental faculties, especially, attention, memory, concentration, and feeling fresh when we wake up. As a matter of fact, “Sleep Hygiene Habits” should be taught to children after 6 or 7 years old in home and school, since it is recognized among specialists in Sleep the fact that with aging, the “Health Restorator” begins to fail us and is hypothesized that it coincides with aging, and disruption of both, physical as well as intellectual and emotional health. Nevertheless, troubled individuals who have not developed healthy habits to deal with the widespread and increasing stress to which we are increasingly subject of, only reinforces the unhealthy habits early learned, and, disruption of sleep is common since a very young age, and, worsens with adults over 30 years old. Professional assistance of Healthcare multidisciplinary teams, through counseling and/or psychotherapy, can empower the individuals to increase their self-esteem; develop skills and techniques to effectively deal with a variety of techniques that avoid the highly prevalent lack of resources that would short circuit these pervasive conditions (if possible including family members into counseling and/or psychotherapy) to reach as many individuals as possible, Finally, I would like to highlight that the prevailing prescription of medications of the family called “benzodiazepines” (such as clonazepam, diazepam, etc), do not resolve at all the underneath causes of stress, anxiety, panic, obesity, diabetes, and sleep disorders, since they only act at the most superficial levels of sleep (phases 1 and 2), which do not play any role in body recuperation (delta sleep that coincides with the immunologic action restoring the cells of the organism; nor, they act in the REM stage (when we dream) not allowing the repairing of mental functions absolutely essential for restoring mental and intellectual functioning). Preventive measures such as including such subjects in the educational milieu, extensive to adults who need to learn a Healthy Hygiene Habits, as well as, the first symptoms that uncover the “silent killer” that is hypertension, will have an extremely positive effect not only in the individual suffering from hypertension, but to all the human beings with whom he/she interacts. Short-tempered, aggressiveness, panic attacks, dizziness, headache, might be the first symptoms of hypertension, and the individual has to pause for some time every day , and, learn to interpret the signs and symptoms of his/her being, so the diagnosis can be made before extremely serious effects are caused by Hypertension. It is of utmost relevance that every person goes for a checkup with a cardiologist, before engaging in exercises, and, other lifetime changes, after examining he/she, and rules out that the inclusion of strenuous exercises and/or other lifestyle changes can be introduced, discarding possible contraindications before the problem starts to be addresses by medication and other measures. I have taught as a member of a multidisciplinary team, measures to address this complex disease!. My recommendation is follow the points addressed above, so anyone can take measures before it hits us by surprise. I repeat, there is no age for screening hypertension, and, the relatively common situation that a “healthy” young individual who plays a professional sport, had died suddenly, to get a “green light” to start an intensive exercise regime, that might also have developed due to genetic antecedents!.

  2. Yes
    I was very unclear how much stress works on your blood pressure
    I myself have always had low blood pressure. That was my notmal. Nothing is normal about me! Good or Bad. And all or Nothing of a girl
    I do believe after yeats of neglect. Loneliness and addiction. I feel at 48…like #1 i look 65.. But as we all know? The best gift os uour health. Just watching my 78 yr old Father suffer with depression. O
    I see the affect its jad on his well being. Im going to put ot oit there! Mu father attempted suicide twive in two years. As much as our physical health is Super important. But as i see it now. Growing up and all. You must take
    .do..whatever ot takes to make sure your emotionally INTACT. Take it from this middlee age

    drama queen! Just as your body health wise give off signals. Your brain is sometimes i think its a little more subtle. You really have to know yourself. Its important
    I lost it last summer
    I was in a complete delusional state Thanks to whoever!!! I knew myself. I had to admit myself into a dual diagnosis center. So my hope and wish. If your reading this. Please take care of your mental state at all times. Step back and Breathe. Like you could forget???? Well?????? You with anxiety alone can make you hyperventilate
    How i know z?? I forgot to breathe.. So have a beautiful Sunday. Peace be with you.


  3. Have no weight problem, exercise daily, eat healthy, not drink alcohol, never smoked but #6 I have to work on daily more. Only have high blood pressure when in waiting room to see a doctor.,…

  4. Take every morning 3 tbsp. Of applesider vinegar and 1__tsp honey with 1/2 cup of warm water drink first thing every morning it helps blood pressure and Also belly Fat! The honey makes the bowles and the vinegar helps with blood pressure down and with in 7 days belly fat almost gone!

  5. Does your website have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it but,
    I’d like to send you an email. I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing.

    Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.

  6. They say that you must be informed 10 times on a subject to fully understand what you heard. I found this information to be a effective and beneficial reason to watch my own hypertension more closely. Thank you for giving me the incentive to live healthier.

  7. I am genuinely glad to read this blog posts which carries
    plenty of useful information, thanks for providing these kinds of information.

  8. This is true just reading 2 of this life strategy made me realize how important high blood pressure really was. It opened my eyes to things that was going on in my life. Know I think about life different now.

  9. The information you just shared concerning saunas was very enlightening. Looking other ways to relieve stress.

  10. I enjoyed the helpful information about hypertension as it relates to hot tub and saunas.

Comments are closed.