What Is Hypertension?

High blood pressure also known as HYPERTENSION is the most common chronic illness in the United States, and is affecting more than 65 million Americans. Hypertension can raise your risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and eye problems. Many people can live for years with high blood pressure and have no symptoms. That is why it is important to start living a healthy lifestyle now and to keep your blood pressure under control.  How is this achieved you might ask?  The most effective and important defense against hypertension is DIET AND EXERCISE!!!!

What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure is a measurement of the force of blood against the arterial walls when the heart pumps. The optimal blood pressure is 120 over 80. The first number is referred to as systolic and it represents the highest pressure exerted against the arterial walls when the heart contracts. The second number is referred to as diastolic, and it represents the minimum pressure against the arterial walls during ventricular relaxation. Hypertension can damage the heart and blood vessels elevating your blood pressure. You can diffuse this with proper exercise and by eating a heart healthy diet.

What is a heart healthy diet?
A heart healthy diet is moderate in calories, low in saturated/trans fats, and rich in low-fat dairy products, and high-fiber foods. By high-fiber foods I mean raw vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes!!!!

How does exercise help my heart?
Just as exercise strengthens other muscles in your body, it helps your heart muscle become more efficient and better able to pump blood throughout your body.  The heart will push out more blood with each beat, allowing it to beat slower and keep your blood pressure under control. If you exercise regularly your body’s tissues will pull oxygen from your blood faster. This will allow your heart to work better under stress and raises your anaerobic threshold which will keep you from getting winded during high-intensity activities.


DID YOU KNOW

The heart is a double pump that serves two circulations. The right side of the heart pumps blood through the pulmonary circuit to the lungs and then returns back to the left side of the heart. The left side of the heart pumps blood through the systemic circuit to all of the bodies tissues and back to the right side of the heart.