260318 Lower your blood pressure

260318 Lower your blood pressure

High blood pressure is often referred to as the silent killer because its effects are rarely felt until the disease has progressed to a dangerous level.

Here is a list of four things that you can do to potentially lower your blood pressure.

If you weigh too much, lose weight.

Look at yourself in the mirror. Can you see the fat hanging off your stomach and sides? Can you pinch more of an inch on your sides? If so, you need to lose weight. Can you see your toes? If not, you need to lose weight. Is your body mass index in the obese range? If so, lose weight.

With a 10% reduction in your weight, you will notice reductions in your blood pressure numbers.

Start becoming more physically active.

If your prime source of entertainment is watching TV, working on the computer, or socializing at the local tavern then it is time to get off your butt and get moving. Being physically active goes hand-in-hand with losing weight and they each complement one another.

Reduce eating foods that are high in salt and sodium.

Began with an inventory of the foods in your house. Look at the labels. Are they high in sodium? Do you have stacks of potato chips in the cupboards? Is there bacon and sausage in your refrigerator?

You can reduce the salt you eat by cooking your own food and not adding salt when you eat at the table. Canned vegetables, according to their labels, contain an overly high amount of sodium. You can eliminate much of this by rinsing the vegetables before you cook them. This removes much of the salty juices that contribute to the high salt content of the food.

Cut back on the alcohol you drink.

Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and generally, when you are drinking, you are with friends socializing and eating crap food. More than likely the food you eat during these times contains a lot of fat and salt.

If you already have high blood pressure and are taking medications, do not stop these medications until you talk with your doctor.

210613 Weight gain after stopping smoking

Weight gain after stopping smoking

How often have you heard a smoker say they would like to quit but don’t want to add weight? Truth be told, this weight gain is an insignificant part of becoming healthy again after years of abusing your body with the smoking habit.

A recent study (13 March 2013) published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests that even with weight gain, quitting the smoking habit lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. The researchers for the report say that even with a few extra pounds the quitters have approximately 50% lower risk of cardiovascular disease than smokers do.

This even holds true for those with diabetes.

Smokers who quit generally can expect to gain from 6 to 13 pounds shortly after stopping. This weight gain decreases over time and then levels out.

According to the study author, Dr. Michael Meigs, associate professor at Harvard Medical School, “The benefits on vascular health when you stop smoking are so strong that any tiny adverse effects on metabolic health related to weight gain are completely overshadowed.”

Since it is a well-known fact that smoking is one of the major contributing factors of heart disease, the fact that a few extra pounds are not crucial to long term health problems may give hope to those who are struggling to quit this nasty life shortening and stinky habit.