I bet you’re wondering what number I mean. I am talking about Blood Pressure. I hear this so many times during the course of a day. Let’s review what affects your blood pressure. First though, what is blood pressure? Think of a garden hose. When you turn the water on, the water exerts pressure on the inside walls of the hose. This is the top number or Systolic number in your blood pressure. The garden hose is comparable to your artery, water is the blood and when the hose is on it’s your hear contracting. When you turn the hose off, the heart is relaxing, however, the water in the hose is till exerting pressure on the walls, i.e., blood is still in the artery exerting pressure. This is the lower number or Diastolic number in your blood pressure.
Many different foods, activity or inactivity affecting your blood pressure numbers, such as caffeine, salt, lack of exercise, a bad night sleep and emotions to name a few.
Which reminds me of a story. I have many clients with an enormous amount of stress in their lives. Many times, when they walk into Keep The Beat Wellness they have an elevated blood pressure reading. I ask them if they were you rushed or stressed out prior to coming over and they will usually respond with a yes. If that’s the case, I have them sit down, deep breath and relax. Their blood pressure usually drops. Stress is a BIG player our blood pressure.
Our blood pressure will change moment to moment due to many factors in our lives. If your stress is elevated, I recommend meditation or yoga. Both activities will teach you to focus on your breathing. Consistent exercise will reduce blood pressure and so will following a low sodium diet. These are the easiest modifications to start implementing to improve blood pressure.
Stuart Thilmany is the owner of Keep the Beat Wellness, a health and wellness studio specializing in personal and small group training for baby boomers, seniors and individuals with various medical conditions where exercise programs are tailored to the individual’s needs.