Frank Mangano is a consumer health advocate and natural health writer who has authored and published numerous reports and a considerable amount of articles pertaining to natural health. Frank teaches you how to dramatically improve your health naturally, without expensive and potentially dangerous prescription drugs. Mangano is an independent researcher and has absolutely no financial ties to any pharmaceutical drug company or supplement company.
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120 to 139/80 to 89
Pre-High Blood Pressure
140 to 159/90 to 99
Stage 1 High Blood Pressure
Stage 2 High Blood Pressure
What to do About that High Stress Lifestyle That Could Be Raising Your Blood Pressure
This description of a typical high-stress lifestyle may sound familiar to you... very familiar...
You get up in the morning, and you're running late, so the stress begins before you're even done eating breakfast. You rush off to work, stressing about whether you'll make it to work on time and then stressing about whether you'll get a speeding ticket on the way and end up really late. When you get to work, you're stressing about your job performance, your demanding boss and whether you'll get that promotion. When you're not stressing about your performance at work, you're stressing about your son's performance in school. As you're stressing over the traffic on the way home, you're stressing about your upcoming vacation plans. Finally, you're on your way out the door for vacation, but now you've got airport and flying stress!
It seems like you can't avoid it. Out of the frying pan into the fire, from one stress to the next you go. It may even seem amusing on the surface, all these little things stressing us out, but it's not a laughing matter at all. Getting control over the stress in your life can be a matter of life and death. If you're perpetually stressed and you don't learn what to do about it, you could become a prime candidate for high blood pressure - the silent killer.
Medical experts estimate that 90 percent of Americans will have high blood pressure at some point in their lives. With staggering statistics like this on their minds, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh embarked on a 13-year study to see if early-life stressors impacted someone's future blood pressure levels.
Following more than 5,000 men and women between the ages of 18 and 30, the researchers studied the subjects' cardiovascular activity through a series of rather unusual tests, including submersing the subject's hands in ice cold water and having them engage in stressful video games.
After taking each person's blood pressure, they hypothesized that participants with the highest blood pressure readings would be precursors to high readings later in life. Thirteen years later, when the test results were re-evaluated--you guessed it--a significant number of those same participants had become hypertensive. The study was published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.
So how do you go about minimizing your tendency towards getting stressed? Is it even possible in today's fast paced, information-overloaded and hectic society? The answer is yes and you're about to learn how.
First, I'd like you to consider the fact that I'm not suggesting that you stop everything you're doing. You don't necessarily have to slow down, you simply need to calm down. With that thought in mind, here are some action steps you can take starting today, which will make a big difference in keeping your stress levels under control, and minimizing the negative effects of stress that cannot be avoided.
(1)Exercise - Besides being good for your body, exercise is good for your brain. Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, which make us feel happy, and at ease. It also helps to increase the flow of blood in the brain, ridding the mind of waste products that develop in the course of stressful times when mental processes are in excess. Furthermore, the more fit you are, the more you're able to cope with events in life that bring about stress.
I recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of walking most days of the week, gradually increasing to 45 minutes to 1 hour most days of the week. A study published in the December 2005 issue of "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise" concluded that walking on a treadmill for just 30 minutes can boost your mood and feeling of well-being.
(2) Eat Regularly and Healthfully - Skipping meals is probably the worst thing you can do for your health. Low blood sugar levels that result from skipping meals not only slow down the metabolism but slow down virtually every system in the body. This in turn affects your ability to think clearly and contributes to stressful feelings because of hunger pangs.
Have a healthy breakfast for starters. One of my favorites is one cup of slow cooked oats, (not instant oatmeal which is loaded with preservatives) with banana, blueberries and a tablespoon of lecithin granules (very effective for lowering cholesterol). Avoid processed foods such as bacon and sausage, which are high in fat and lack fiber and nutrients. You should also eat small portions throughout the day. This will keep your metabolic fire burning hot and keep your blood sugar levels stable.
(3) Learn to Meditate - Research indicates that meditating for less than 20 minutes a day is extremely conducive to mental health and minimizing stress levels. The key is finding the time to meditate and then sticking with it once you start. A study published in the journal of Psychosomatic Medicine concluded that a short program in "mindfulness meditation" produced lasting positive changes in both the brain and the function of the immune system. The University of Wisconsin-Madison research team found that meditation, long promoted as a technique to reduce anxiety and stress, might produce important biological effects that improve a person's resiliency.
There are many ways to meditate, but start by finding a serene location, one where there are little to no distractions, where you can separate yourself from the world. Then, just like you see on television or in any other place that illustrates meditation, sit upright with your legs crossed and take long, deep breaths in and out. Focus as much as you can on your breathing and try to not let your mind wander. Be an observer; focus on your inner self.
One of the reasons meditation is so effective at reducing stress is because of the power of breathing properly. Go ahead and try it - right now. Take a long, deep breath through your nose... hold it, hold it.... Then slowly let it out through your mouth, and say to your self, silently, RELAX. Even with that one single breath, you felt a wave of relaxation pass through your body as tension drained away. Now imagine what a session of twenty, fifteen, ten or even just five minutes per day, whatever you can manage, of deep breathing meditation or guided relaxation will do for you.
The benefits of meditation are remarkable and this is not just some mystical Eastern "new age" prattle - the scientific research now proves it. One way to easily get started with a meditation is with hypnosis audios. Did you know that hypnosis sessions begin by using deep breathing to induce a state of deep, deep relaxation? In fact, when you "let go" and let a hypnotherapist guide you through it, whether in person, or more conveniently, by listening to audio, you automatically release tension, reduce stress and reach a deeper state of profound relaxation than any other way.
5 Steps You Can Take Today To Lower Blood Pressure Naturally
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is not something to be taken lightly. It is a serious disease, the cause of which is unknown. One fact health care professionals do know is that left untreated, high blood pressure over time can lead to serious heart disease and other vascular troubles, even death.
Blood pressure medications come in a wide range of formulas and dosages; each aimed at reducing the pressure going through the blood vessels either as the heart pumps blood or relaxes. Some medications strengthen the blood vessels while others thin the blood in an effort to reduce the strain. Trial and error is usually a doctor's only course of action when determining which combination of drugs and treatments will benefit a specific patient. The problem with this approach is the dangerous side effects, which often accompany these medications.
There is however some good news about hypertension! There are steps you can take today that will begin to lower your blood pressure almost immediately. Overtime, the result is a sustained healthy blood pressure reading that supports your blood vessels and heart for years to come.
Start with these 5 easy lifestyle changes. Always consult with your doctor before trying anything new with your health regime, and never go off of any medication without the advice of your doctor. Here is a list that any doctor can approve of:
1. Drink Water. Yes, water is a way to cleanse and refresh every part of the body, even your blood vessels. Drink 8-10 glasses each day to flush out excess salt and toxins that make their way into the blood stream. You can use water to replace some drinks
containing caffeine that temporarily raise blood pressure.
2. Stop Smoking. If you are a long time smoker, you know how it affects your breathing. What you may not realize is its impact on your blood pressure. If you can't quit completely, then cut down. Even a 50% reduction in the number of cigarettes smoked each week can help.
3. Exercise. A cardiovascular workout strengthens the heart. This is important because high blood pressure over time puts added strain on the heart. Just 20 minutes, 3 times per week of a sustained increase in heart rate will aid in lowering blood pressure.
4. Eat Right. If you are eating better and exercising, a nice by-product will be weight loss. By reducing your weight by 10%, you can significantly lower blood pressure. A diet that includes the freshest fruits and vegetables will support healthy blood pressure.
Reduce salt intake, and especially beware of "hidden" sodium found abundantly in pre-packaged convenience foods.
5. Relax. Many people have a temporary raise in blood pressure when they are under stress. If you have high blood pressure because you are over weight or have a family history of hypertension, then stress raises it that much more. Try taking a walk, meditating or listening to relaxing music to take the edge off a stressful day. Make time for decompressing each and every day.
These 5 steps will help get you started on the road to lower blood pressure. Discover more natural and effective methods that will make a positive impact on your blood pressure visit: The Silent Killer Exposed
Frank Mangano is an active member of his community who works diligently providing assistance to senior citizens and probing as a health advocate to discover new and innovative ways to promote well being. Find out how you can maintain healthy blood pressure at: The Silent Killer Exposed
What the Numbers Mean - How Blood Pressure is Measured
A check up at the doctor quickly reveals many important facts about
your health. One very important test is the blood pressure reading. The test is routine and simple. You don't even need to undress or be stuck with a needle to get a clear picture of what is going on with your blood pressure. The end result is vital information about how much pressure or force is put on your blood vessels as the heart muscle pumps and then again as it relaxes.
The two numbers related to blood pressure are officially known as the systolic and diastolic readings. The systolic, or top number, measures the pressure of the blood as it leaves the heart and surges through the blood vessels. The diastolic number on the blood pressure reading is what kind of force is on the artery walls in between heart beats.
A blood pressure reading is written with the systolic number on top and diastolic number on the bottom and is expressed as "x over y." A normal blood pressure may be 120 over 80 or written as 110/70. The value of the numbers refers to milligrams of mercury (mmHg).
The following chart shows what normal blood pressure ranges are and when you need to be concerned about lowering your blood pressure:
Not only is high blood pressure measured, but a reading of 90/25mmHg is considered very low blood pressure and warrants specific kinds of treatments.
Blood pressure is measured using a cuff that goes around the upper arm. It is pumped with air to make it tighten around the arm so that a pulse can be heard through a stethoscope. The medical professional listening is recording when they hear a pulse as the band tightens and then when they can no longer hear it as the pressure is released. This gives them the systolic and then the diastolic readings.
There are many times throughout the day when blood pressure readings are affected which does not necessarily mean you have the condition of high blood pressure. A temporary rise in blood pressure is often seen after consuming certain foods or beverages or if you have taken specific kinds of medications. The concern doctors have is when blood pressure is in the stage 1 range consistently.
On the other hand, low blood pressure readings may indicate there is an infection present or that you are dehydrated. It can also signal more serious conditions such as heart disease.
It is important to have blood pressure readings at every annual physical. Often if you visit the doctor when you are sick they will routinely measure blood pressure. If you have had high readings in the past, you doctor may want to monitor your condition more closely. He or she may recommend testing each week or even everyday at your local pharmacy or using a home testing device.