According to the National Heart Lung and Blood institute 1 in 3 adults in the US has high blood pressure. Many don’t even know they have the disease because there are no symptoms until the heart, blood vessels, and other parts of your body including your kidneys are damaged.
When blood pressure increases greater stress is placed on the heart and blood vessels. The vessels in the kidney and other parts of the body begin to narrow, thus restricting blood flow.
Maintaining good heart health means keeping your blood pressure less than 120/80. The top number, systolic is the pressure the heart encounters when pumping blood. Diastolic, the lower number, represents the pressure in the circulatory system between beats. If your numbers exceed 120/80 your health is in jeopardy.
Risk factors include older age, race/ethnicity, overweight, obesity, gender, lack of exercise and living an unhealthy lifestyle. All contribute to this growing problem. Some of these factors can be controlled; some can’t. Exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and practicing healthy living habits are all within your power to manage.
One of the simplest actions you can take is to start walking. Buy a pedometer and work up to 10,000 steps a day. Healthy benefits start almost as soon as you step out the door.
A walk can be a fast ten minute excursion down the road or even around your property. Three active ten-minute bursts a day are beneficial in lowering blood pressure numbers.
Just walking 4,000-5,000 steps above normal helps lower your blood pressure. Find a friend and head out the door to better health. If the weather is poor then skip rope…if you don’t have total knees.