Hypertension is a silent killer that is easily preventable with exercise and nutrition. Knowing your blood pressure numbers will help you avoid fatal outcomes such as heart attack, stroke and kidney disease. Thirty percent of Americans are walking around with hypertension and don’t even know it. Seems pretty silly when checking your blood pressure is easy, accessible, and cheap.
Normal resting blood pressure should be less than 120/80 mmHg. The top number 120 represents the pressure against the artery walls when the heart contracts (systolic blood pressure). The second number 80, is the pressure against the artery walls during the resting phase between each heart beat and is called diastolic blood pressure.
Pre-hypertension- (120-139 systolic, 80-89 diastolic) is a “heads up” to get control of your numbers before they climb. Prevention is the name of the game here and a healthy lifestyle, not taking a pill, is the answer.
Here are five easy tips that can really help to keep your numbers in check.
Exercise Regularly – Start off moderately 30 minutes most days of the week. Walking is a great form of exercise! Gradually increase intensity, and as endurance improves, add circuit training with low resistance and high repetitions.
Adopt a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes and low fat dairy or no dairy at all. Try adding a cup of veggies or fruit to every meal and replace meat with beans.
Reduce Sodium – limit sodium to 1500 mg a day. Read food labels, eat fewer processed foods and don’t add salt to foods. Use herbs, peppers, and spices to flavor foods.
Limit alcohol to one drink a day for women and two for men.
Dark Chocolate – about 30 calories, one small square can help lower blood pressure.
Protect your body’s hardest working muscle.
Jump start your way to a healthier, fit you! Speaking of jumping, Total Body Jump Class will be featured at Athleta May 21st, so if you haven't tried this class yet, here is another opportunity for you to do so! Class will be held at the Mix Studios - 2007 S. State St. AA. Hope to see you there or at one of my other trampoline fitness classes. Total Body Jump -Thursday -5:30 pm, Sat -10:00 am, Mind, Body, Bounce - Wed at noon. See my website for more information.