High blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, stroke, vision problems, and dementia. Here are facts about high blood pressure that can save your life.
Blood Pressure Increases With Age
Seven (7) percent of Americans ages 18 to 39 have hypertension, defined as blood pressure that is 140/90 or higher. This climbs to 32 percent among ages 40 to 59, and 65 percent for Americans 60-plus. The basic reason: Arteries stiffen with age.
Displays No Symptoms
Be smart, check your pressure on a regular basis.
The Important Number
Systolic pressure, the top number, measures the force at the moment the heart beats, pumping throughout the body. Diastolic pressure, the bottom number measures pressure between beats, when it flows back to the heart.
Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle
Reduce your salt intake and lose weight. Research shows that reducing salt shaves 5 points off systolic pressure and losing 11 pounds drops systolic pressure by 4 points.
Drink coffee in moderation (8 ounce a day) to maintain normal systolic pressure.
Breathing slow down to 6 breaths in 30 seconds will temporarily reduce your systolic pressure by 3 points.
An FDA-approved portable computerized device, called RESPeRATE, uses tones to guide you through sessions of deep breathing.
Do Hand Grip Exercises
Researchers confirm that hand-grip exercises can reduce your pressure by about 10 percent. Inexpensive hand grippers available online or at a local sporting goods store ($10 to $15) are effective. Squeeze the gripper for 2 minutes at a time, for a total of 12 to 15 minutes, three times a week.
Beware Over The Counter Medicines
Many cold medications contain pseudoephedrine, which clamps down on blood vessels, raising blood pressure. Moreover, Aleve, Advil or Motrin raises pressure by 3-6 points . That’s enough to contribute to cardiovascular risk if you take them on a regular basis.
High blood pressure (hypertension) is referred to as the silent killer, there are no overt symptoms. Check you pressure regularly, eat healthy, and exercise.