Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Exercise to Lower Your Blood Pressure

Exercise to Lower Your Blood Pressure

 hbp

In the U.S., an estimated 1 in 3 has high blood pressure (hypertension); another 1 in 3 has prehypertension.1 A blood pressure reading of 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) is considered healthy.

High blood pressure is typically considered anything over 140/90 mmHg, although updated guidelines2 from the American Heart Association now have 130/80 mmHg as the cutoff for a diagnosis of hypertension. Elevated systolic pressure (the top or high number) is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, stroke and dementia.3

While drugs are typically the first-line treatment for hypertension, they’re associated with a number of problematic side effects. For example, research4 published in 2017 found hydrochlorothiazide — one of the most popular drugs used worldwide to treat high blood pressure — raises the risk of skin cancer sevenfold.

Diuretics, also commonly prescribed for high blood pressure, have the side effect of leaching both sodium and potassium out of your body, and maintaining a healthy sodium-to-potassium ratio is really important for the normalization of your blood pressure.5

Potassium is also needed for proper muscle movement, including the contractions of your heart, and if your level gets depleted it can trigger muscle cramps and heart problems. So, what can you do beside popping a daily pill? The good news is exercise can go a long way toward normalizing your blood pressure.6,7,8

Increasing Insulin Sensitivity Is the First Line of Treatment for High Blood Pressure

Over 80 percent of the U.S. population are insulin resistant and this metabolic dysfunction causes a boatload of problems, such as an increased risk of obesity and diabetes. There are many well-reported links between obesity and high blood pressure.9 Most, but certainly not all, those with hypertension are overweight, and in those circumstances losing weight is associated with lowering of their blood pressure.

So, if you have high blood pressure your first strategy is to regain your metabolic flexibility and be able to burn fat as a primary fuel once again. This will not only decrease your insulin resistance and help optimize your weight, but also radically decrease your risk of heart disease, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.10

Exercise Is Another Potent Therapy for High Blood Pressure

Inactivity and blood pressure are also closely related — so closely that exercise is actually considered a first line of treatment by several health authorities, including the World Health Organization, the International Society of Hypertension and the U.S. Joint National Committee on Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure, just to name a few.11

Research shows inactive individuals have a 30 to 50 percent greater risk for high blood pressure than their active counterparts.12 As noted in a literature review13 on exercise and hypertension, published in Australian Family Physician:

“An evidence based literature analysis by the American College of Sports Medicine indicates that an isolated exercise session (acute effect) lowers BP [blood pressure] an average of 5 to 7 mmHg … [T]he average BP reduction with regular endurance exercise for hypertensives not normalized by drug therapy in the literature review is 7.4/5.8mmHg …

Depending upon the degree the patient’s BP has been normalized by drug therapy, regular aerobic exercise significantly reduces BP the equivalent of 1 class of antihypertensive medication (chronic effect) … Overall, resistance training has a favorable chronic effect on resting BP, but the magnitude of the BP reductions are less than those reported for an aerobic based exercise program …

For most hypertensive patients, exercise is quite safe. Caution is required for those over 50 years of age, and those with established cardiovascular disease (CVD) (or at high CVD risk) and in these patients, the advice of a clinical exercise physiologist is recommended.”

Try These Exercises to Lower Your Blood Pressure

The key to affect your blood pressure is to do physical activity that raises your heart rate, making your heart beat faster and increase blood flow. This is also known as cardiovascular or aerobic exercise.

As you might guess, just about any physical movement can achieve this, depending on your current state of fitness. Even yard work can be a cardiovascular exercise. Raking and mulching, for example, takes some effort and will get your heart pumping. Other aerobic exercises include:

Brisk walking and/or running — Research14 published in 2013 found moderate-intensity brisk walking produced similar reductions in blood pressure as vigorous-intensity running.
Swimming and/or water aerobics — In one study,15 adults aged 50 and over who swam three to four times a week for 12 weeks improved their vascular function and reduced their systolic blood pressure by an average of nine points.
Bicycling — A 2016 study16 showed that people in their 40s through 60s who bicycled to and from work were less likely to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and/or prediabetes. After 10 years of follow-up, bicycle commuters had an 11 percent lower risk for hypertension than nonbikers.
Weightlifting and/or body weight exercises — A small 2012 study,17 which included middle-aged men diagnosed with high blood pressure who had previously exercised less than two hours a week and were not using antihypertensive medication, showed that after weight training for 45 to 60 minutes (three sets of 12 repetitions for each of seven exercises), systolic blood pressure was reduced by an average of 22 mmHg and diastolic pressure by an average of 8 mmHg.
Skiing
Skating
Rowing
Dancing
Sports such as tennis, soccer and ultimate Frisbee

Isometric Handgrip Training Lowers Blood Pressure in Older Adults

Isometric handgrip exercises have also been shown to have a positive impact on blood pressure in older adults.

Interestingly, a 2013 systematic review18 concluded improving your handgrip strength was even more effective for lowering systolic blood pressure than conventional endurance and strength training programs.

Other studies19,20 have also confirmed the benefit of both handgrip and leg extension exercises on blood pressure. As noted in one of them:21

“Isometric resistance training lowers [systolic blood pressure], [diastolic blood pressure], and mean arterial pressure. The magnitude of effect is larger than that previously reported in dynamic aerobic or resistance training. Our data suggest that this form of training has the potential to produce significant and clinically meaningful blood pressure reductions and could serve as an adjunctive exercise modality.”

Boosting Your Nitric Oxide Level Helps Lower Blood Pressure

Another excellent exercise is the Nitric Oxide Dump. This and other high-intensity exercises help normalize your blood pressure by triggering production of nitric oxide in your body. It involves just four movements — squats, alternating arm raises, nonjumping jacks and shoulder presses — which are done in repetitions of 10, with four sets each. In total, it takes just three to four minutes. Ideally, you’d do these exercises three times a day, a few hours apart.

Nitric oxide is a soluble gas stored in your endothelium (the lining of your blood vessels) and acts as an important signaling molecule throughout your body. Along with promoting healthy endothelial function, nitric oxide also supports heart health by helping your veins and arteries dilate, which promotes healthy blood flow.

Nitric oxide also plays a protective role in your mitochondrial health, the energy storehouse of your cells, responsible for the utilization of energy for all metabolic functions. Even your skeletal muscle, which is made up of only about 1 percent to 2 percent mitochondria, depend on these energy powerhouses to fuel your daily movements.

When you exercise and your muscles ache, it’s because you’ve run out of oxygen, which your body compensates for by releasing nitric oxide. But here’s the secret that’s not widely known: When you exercise, it takes only about 90 seconds for your blood vessels to run out of stored nitric oxide and begin the process of making more.

This is why working major muscle groups for as little as 90 seconds can be so effective.22 You can also take advantage of the nitric oxide-boosting power of vegetable nitrates, which serve as precursors for nitric oxide. Arugula is the highest source but fermented beet powder can have up to 500 percent greater concentration of nitrates.

How Much Exercise Do You Need to Help Normalize Your Blood Pressure?

As a general recommendation, aim for moderate-intensity activity 30 minutes a day, at least five days a week.23 The higher the intensity of your exercise, the lower the frequency needs to be, so if you’re doing more vigorous aerobic activity, you can get away with doing just three days a week. In addition to that, it’s recommended to perform some sort of muscle strengthening exercise two days a week.

If you have high blood pressure, chances are you’re not exercising enough at present. If that’s the case, start slow and build your way up. For example, start taking a walk a few times a week, and increase the frequency as you start feeling more able. Over time, also step up the intensity, and be sure to add some form of strength training — especially if you’re insulin resistant — as well as isometric handgrip exercises, which can easily be done while watching TV or otherwise relaxing.

I also recommend training yourself to breathe through your nose when exercising, as mouth breathing during exercise can raise your heart rate and blood pressure, sometimes resulting in fatigue and dizziness.

Source: American Heart Association

Other Lifestyle Strategies for Lowering Your Blood Pressure

Aside from exercise, here are several additional suggestions that can help lower your blood pressure naturally.

Optimize your vitamin D level — Vitamin D deficiency is associated with both arterial stiffness and hypertension.24 For optimal health, maintain a vitamin D level between 60 and 80 nanograms per milliliter year-round.
Mind your sodium to potassium ratio — According to Dr. Lawrence Appel, lead researcher on the DASH diet and director of the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research at Johns Hopkins, your diet as a whole is the key to controlling hypertension — not salt reduction alone.

He believes a major part of the equation is this balance of minerals — i.e., most people need less sodium and more potassium, calcium and magnesium. According to Appel,25 “Higher levels of potassium blunt the effects of sodium. If you can’t reduce or won’t reduce sodium, adding potassium may help. But doing both is better.”

Indeed, maintaining a proper potassium to sodium ratio in your diet is very important, and hypertension is but one of many side effects of an imbalance. A processed food diet virtually guarantees you’ll have a lopsided ratio of too much sodium to potassium. Making the switch from processed foods to whole foods will automatically improve your ratios.

Intermittent and partial fasting — Intermittent fasting is one of the most effective ways I’ve found to normalize your insulin/leptin sensitivity, which is a root cause of hypertension. My new book, Keto Fasting which goes into great detail about partial fasting comes out next spring.
Walk barefoot — Going barefoot will help you ground to the earth. Experiments show that walking barefoot outside (also referred to as Earthing or grounding) improves blood viscosity and blood flow, which help regulate blood pressure. So, do yourself a favor and ditch your shoes now and then.

Grounding also calms your sympathetic nervous system, which supports your heart rate variability. This in turn promotes homeostatis, or balance, in your autonomic nervous system. In essence, anytime you improve heart rate variability, you’re improving your entire body and all of its functions.

Address your stress — The connection between stress and hypertension is well documented, yet still does not receive the emphasis it deserves. In fact, it has been shown that people with heart dis­ease can lower their risk of subsequent cardiac events by over 70 percent simply by learning to manage their stress.

Suppressed negative emotions such as fear, anger and sadness can severely limit your ability to cope with the unavoidable every day stresses of life. It’s not the stressful events themselves that are harmful, but your lack of ability to cope.

The good news is strategies exist to quickly and effectively transform your suppressed, negative emotions and relieve stress. My preferred method is the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), an easy to learn, easy to use technique for releasing negative emotions. EFT combines visualization with calm, relaxed breathing, while employing gentle tapping to “reprogram” deeply seated emotional patterns.

Essential oils — A number of essential oils can also be helpful, including lavender, ylang-ylang, marjoram, bergamot, rose, frankincense, rosemary, lemon balm and clary sage. In one study,26scientists found exposure to essential oil for one hour effectively reduced stress as measured by a reduction in the participants’ heart rate and blood pressure.

The effect was only temporary, however. In another, similar study,27 inhalation of a blend of lavender, ylang-ylang, neroli and marjoram essential oils was associated with a reduction in blood pressure and cortisol secretion, which is often elevated during stress.

 

Advertisements
Uncategorized

7 Ways to Stop Heart Attack and High Blood Pressure

heart

 

7 Ways to Stop Heart Attacks and High Blood Pressure

 

 

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination,” said a man who had both — Nelson Mandela. Well, here’s the knowledge you need (a good head) to make sure your cardiovascular system (a good heart) stays healthy for decades more!

 

Unfortunately, ever more folks have high levels of lousy LDL cholesterol (more than 71 million North American adults), are overweight or obese (67 percent of adults), and have hypertension (33 percent of folks 20+). Almost 105 million have prediabetes or diabetes.

 

These are huge risk factors for heart disease. But you can defuse your potential heart problems. Here are our 7 Steps to Heart Health. They’ll also improve your love life and brain function and reduce cancer risks.

 

  1. Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke; people who do have 20 percent to 40 percent fewer heart events over two years.

 

  1. Do whatever it takes to get your blood pressure to 115/75.

 

  1. Keep your waist measurement to less than half your height.

 

  1. Manage stress with meditation.

 

  1. Adopt good heart/brain nutrition: Avoid saturated and trans fats, all added sugars and sugar syrups, and any grain that isn’t 100 percent whole.

 

  1. Get active: Your heart will love 10,000 steps daily; 30 minutes of resistance exercise weekly; 20 minutes of cardio three times a week.

 

  1. Consider a supplement regimen: a statin and 200 mg CoQ10 daily, along with two baby aspirins with half a glass of warm water before and after (ask your doc); plus 1,000 IU of vitamin D-3 and 420 mg of purified omega-7 a day.

 

Please call us with your concerns about your personal healtcare.

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr P Carrothers

312-972-9355 (WELL)

Healthandwellnessassociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Herbs: A Natural Treatment for HBP

yarrow

Herbs: The Natural Alternative to Treat High Blood Pressure

 

Hawthorn

Hawthorn has been a heart disease remedy since the first century. It is a common thorny shrub that grows up to 5 feet tall and grows in small, red, white, and pink clusters. Little berries called haws sprout after the flowers. Hawthorn contains antioxidant flavonoids which help dilate blood vessels, improve blood flow, and protect the vessels from damage. The leaves and buds were found to have more flavonoids than the berries. One study has found that participants who took hawthorn extract for 16 weeks had lower blood pressure than the placebo. (4)

 

Lime Blossom

 

Linden is a herb from lime trees. These flowers were brewed into tea throughout history to heal issues pertaining to anxiety. The Linden flowers contain flavonoids, volatile oil, and mucilage component, which soothe and reduce inflammation. It also has tannins which act as an astringent. It also has antispasmodic, diuretic, and sedative properties. (5)

 

Yarrow

 

Yarrow was a popular European folk medicine. It contains flavonoids, plant-based chemicals that increase stomach acid and saliva to improve digestion. It can also relax smooth muscles in the intestine and uterus. Yarrow is a member of the Astor family which is related to chrysanthemums and chamomile. The flowers, leaves, and stems are used in medicine. It has been found to lower blood pressure and can strengthen the effects of pharmaceutical drugs for this condition. (6)

 

Mistletoe

 

Mistletoe has been found to neutralize blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes, in addition to treating cardiovascular disease. It also can soothe arthritic and rheumatic pain. The actual berries of this plant are poisonous. The leaves, however, are rich with healing effects. (7)

 

Hibiscus

 

A study was done on male participants aged 30 to 65 years old where they consumed 250 ml of a hibiscus tea after a high fat breakfast. The placebo group drank only water. Researchers have noted the improved difference in the blood pressure and inflammation in comparison to the placebo volunteers without the tea. They hoped that this study can become the start of using this herb to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases. (8)

 

Tea For Heart Health

 

These herbs are effective in aiding healthy blood pressure in varying ways. Some  dilate the peripheral blood vessels, thereby increasing the overall size of the cardiovascular structure. Some help the kidneys pass more water, thus reducing the fluid content in the system. Others normalize the activity of the heart, safely decreasing the force with which the blood is pumped through the body.

 

Here is how you can make brew your own Hawthorn, lime, mistletoe, and yarrow tea.

 

Depending on how much you want to make at one time, adjust the formula accordingly.

 

Hawthorn – 2 parts

Lime Blossom – 2 parts

Yarrow – 2 parts

Mistletoe- 1 part

Drink this tea three times daily for optimal results.

 

Using this mixture over a period of time, blood pressure will return to normal level. This drink will safely return blood pressure to a normal level without artificial depressing the system. Herbs can only normalize and will not lower blood pressure to unhealthy levels. (1)

 

If you are having trouble lowering your blood pressure, please call us.  A Personalized Health Care Plan is what you might need, to have objective medical eyes look at you with a fresh start to find the exact problem.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived: Michele

312-972-WELL

Uncategorized

Do You Have a Magnesium Deficiency?

magnesiumflower

Magnesium is arguably the most important mineral in the body. According to a pioneering American neurosurgeon, “Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency and it’s the missing cure to many diseases.”

 

Magnesium is critical for cellular health and for more than 300 biochemical functions in the body. But get this: A common blood test often misses low levels. Here we discuss the main signs that you’re magnesium deficient — and how to reverse it.

Causes of Magnesium Deficiency

Once thought to be relatively rare, magnesium deficiency is more common than most physicians believe. Here’s why:

 

Soil depletion, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the chemicals in our food have created a recipe for disaster. As minerals are removed, stripped away, or no longer available in the soil, the percentage of magnesium present in food has decreased.

Digestive diseases, like leaky gut, can cause malabsorption of minerals, including magnesium. Today, there are hundreds of millions of people who aren’t absorbing their nutrients. Also, as we age, our mineral absorption tends to decrease, so the probability of having a deficiency increases across the board.

Chronic disease and medication use is at an all-time high. Most chronic illness is associated with magnesium deficiency and lack of mineral absorption. Medications damage the gut which is responsible for absorbing magnesium from our food.

Should you worry about magnesium deficiency?

Should you worry about magnesium deficiency?

It all depends on your risk factors and presenting symptoms.  Also, approximately 80 percent of people have low levels of magnesium, so the chances are that you are probably deficient.

Magnesium is arguably the most important mineral in the body.

According to Norman Shealy, MD, PhD, an American neurosurgeon and a pioneer in pain medicine, “Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency and it’s the missing cure to many diseases.” Not only does Magnesium help regulate calcium, potassium and sodium, but magnesium is essential for cellular health and is a critical component of over 300 biochemical functions in the body.

Even glutathione, your body’s most powerful antioxidant that has even been called “the master antioxidant,” requires magnesium for its synthesis. Unfortunately, most people are not aware of this, and millions suffer daily from magnesium deficiency without even knowing it.

 

Causes of Magnesium Deficiency

Once thought to be relatively rare, magnesium deficiency is more common than most physicians believe. Here’s why:

 

Soil depletion, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the chemicals in our food have created a recipe for disaster. As minerals are removed, stripped away, or no longer available in the soil, the percentage of magnesium present in food has decreased.

Digestive diseases, like leaky gut, can cause malabsorption of minerals, including magnesium. Today, there are hundreds of millions of people who aren’t absorbing their nutrients. Also, as we age, our mineral absorption tends to decrease, so the probability of having a deficiency increases across the board.

Chronic disease and medication use is at an all-time high. Most chronic illness is associated with magnesium deficiency and lack of mineral absorption. Medications damage the gut which is responsible for absorbing magnesium from our food.

Should you worry about magnesium deficiency?

 

It all depends on your risk factors and presenting symptoms (see below). Also, approximately 80 percent of people have low levels of magnesium, so the chances are that you are probably deficient.

 

Take note: Only 1 percent of magnesium in your body is in your bloodstream, so often you can have a deficiency, and it would not even be discovered by a common blood test.

 

Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms

 

Many people may be magnesium deficient and not even know it. But here are some key symptoms to look out for that could indicate if you are deficient:

  1. Leg Cramps

Seventy percent of adults and 7 percent of children experience leg cramps on a regular basis. But leg cramps can more than a nuisance — they can also be downright excruciating! Because of magnesium’s role in neuromuscular signals and muscle contraction, researchers have observed that magnesium deficiency is often to blame. (1, 2)

More and more health care professionals are prescribing magnesium supplements to help their patients. Restless leg syndrome is another warning sign of a magnesium deficiency. To overcome both leg cramps and restless leg syndrome, you will want to increase your intake of both magnesium and potassium.

 

  1. Insomnia

Magnesium deficiency is often a precursor to sleep disorders such as anxiety, hyperactivity and restlessness. It’s been suggested that this is because magnesium is vital for GABA function, an inhibitory neurotransmitter known to “calm” the brain and promote relaxation.

Taking magnesium before bed or with dinner is the best time of day to take the supplement. Also, adding in magnesium-rich foods during dinner — like nutrition-packed spinach — may help.

 

  1. Muscle Pain / Fibromyalgia

A study published in Magnesium Research examined the role magnesium plays in fibromyalgia symptoms, and it uncovered that increasing magnesium consumption reduced pain and tenderness and also improved immune blood markers. (3)

Oftentimes linked to autoimmune disorders, this research should encourage fibromyalgia patients because it highlights the systemic effects that magnesium supplements have on the body.

  1. Anxiety

As magnesium deficiency can affect the central nervous system, more specifically the GABA cycle in the body, its side effects can include irritability and nervousness. As the deficiency worsens, it causes high levels of anxiety and, in severe cases, depression and hallucinations.

Magnesium is needed for every cell function from the gut to the brain, so it’s no wonder that it affects so many systems.

  1. High Blood Pressure

Magnesium works partnered with calcium to support proper blood pressure and protect the heart.  So when you are magnesium deficient, often you are also low in calcium and tend towards hypertension or high blood pressure.

A study with 241,378 participants published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition uncovered that a diet high in magnesium foods could reduce the risk of a stroke by 8 percent. (4) This is profound considering that hypertension causes 50 percent of ischemic strokes in the world.

  1. Type II Diabetes

One of the four main causes of magnesium deficiency is type II diabetes, but it’s also a common symptom. U.K. researchers, for example, uncovered that of the 1,452 adults they examined low, magnesium levels were 10 times more common with new diabetics and 8.6 times more common with known diabetics. (5)

 

As expected from this data, diets rich in magnesium has been shown to significantly lower the risk of type 2 diabetes because of magnesium’s role in sugar metabolism. Another study discovered that the simple addition of magnesium supplementation lowered the risk of diabetes by 15 percent! (6)

  1. Fatigue

Low energy, weakness and fatigue are common symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Most chronic fatigue syndrome patients are also magnesium deficient. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that magnesium every day can help, but you do also want to be careful, as too much magnesium can also cause diarrhea. (7)

  1. Migraine Headaches

Magnesium deficiency has been linked to migraine headaches due to its importance in balancing neurotransmitters in the body. Double-blind placebo-controlled studies have proven that magnesium daily reduced the frequency of migraine headaches by up to 42 percent. (8)

  1. Osteoporosis

The National Institute of Health reports that, “The average person’s body contains about 25 grams of magnesium, and about half of that is in the bones.” (9) This is important to realize, especially for the elderly, who are at risk of bone weakening.

Thankfully, there’s hope! A study published in Biology Trace Element Research uncovered that supplementing with magnesium slowed the development of osteoporosis “significantly” after just 30 days. (10)

 

Are You at Risk? 

 

So, who is most susceptible to a magnesium deficiency? According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), not every one is created equal in regards to metabolizing and assimilating magnesium. In fact, certain people are inherently at a greater risk of developing a magnesium deficiency.

 

Magnesium deficiency can be inherited genetically as an inability to absorb this important mineral. Also, a diet low in high magnesium foods, or even emotional or work stress can drain magnesium from the body. Whether inherited, through a deficient diet, or even stress, a magnesium deficiency can lead to side effects of migraines, diabetes, fatigue and more.

 

Which one, How much, And what do I take with it?

 

These are all questions we will be happy to help you with.  We are not all wired the same way, and the same dose not work the same on everyone.  You need personalized healthcare plan just for you.  Call us for help in this matter, and we will work with you to get this right.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

312-972-WELL

 

Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

A Tennis Ball!

tennisballs

 

What if I told you there’s a device that can lower your blood pressure, improve your hand-eye coordination, build strength, and help you relax…and you can buy it at a local store for less than $3.00?

 

I know what you’re thinking, “That’s impossible.”

 

But I’m sure you’re wondering what it is. Well get ready, because I think it’s going to surprise you. In fact, you might already have one! It is…

 

A tennis ball.

 

Amazing, right? A simple tennis ball can do all that, and I’m going to tell you how.

 

Let’s get started. This first Tennis Ball Tip is great for relieving stress, lowering your blood pressure, and building strength. And it came from a very unlikely place.

 

THE BIG SQUEEZE

Back in the 1970’s, a doctor named Ronald Wiley invented a device to keep F-16 jet fighter pilots from losing consciousness.

 

It was a hand-grip device. And they discovered an interesting side-effect: after prolonged use, the pilots’ resting blood pressure was lower.

 

The device is now available to people with high blood pressure, and according to the Harvard Heart Letter, “It has been shown to lower blood pressure as much as a first-line anti-hypertension drug.” However, you can get similar results just by squeezing a tennis ball.

 

STEP 1

Pick up the tennis ball, wrapping your fingers around the ball.

 

STEP 2

Squeeze the ball and hold the squeeze for at least 5 seconds. Relax your grip for 2 seconds, and repeat 10 times.

 

STEP 3

Rest 5 seconds and do 10 more repetitions with the same hand.

 

STEP 4

Repeat the sequence using your other hand.

 

That’s it. Along with lowering your blood pressure, it’s a great stress reliever AND it builds strength in your forearm and grip.

 

[ TIP: If the ball is too hard to squeeze, poke a hole in it.]

 

SOLITAIRE CATCH

This one seems simple, but it really improves your eye-hand coordination and quickens your reflexes. This exercise is used by baseball and football players, as well as other athletes.

 

STEP 1

Stand 4 to 5 feet from a wall. Toss the ball against the wall with your right hand, and catch it with your right hand.

 

STEP 2

Repeat 10 times.

 

STEP 3

Repeat the entire sequence with your left hand.

 

As you practice, change the spot you toss the ball – go lower, higher – and vary the speed. For a bigger challenge, cover one eye to throw off your depth perception.

 

[TIP: You can even do this at your desk. I’ve been doing it for years…it helps me think!]

 

MASSAGE ROLLER

This next Tennis Ball Tip will help stimulate muscle tissue, loosen knots, and help you relax.

 

STEP 1

Lie flat on your back and put the tennis ball under your low back. Close your eyes and let your body sink down on the ball.

 

 

STEP 2

Roll gently on the ball, massaging your low back. Slowly roll the ball higher up your back. Keep going until the ball is between your shoulders.

 

STEP 3

Repeat until you’re completely relaxed.

 

For an even better effect, use two tennis balls side by side.

 

[ TIP: This is an exercise you can do with your spouse. Have them lie on their stomach, then use the tennis ball to give them the best back rub ever.]

 

And don’t forget, you can also play tennis! You get the benefits of great exercise, the fun of playing a game, and it gets you out with other people.

 

One last tip – and this one is my favorite – take your tennis ball, get a dog, and play “fetch.” There’s nothing better!

 

If you try any of these Tennis Ball Tips, let me know how they worked for you. And if you have any other tips, exercises or games to play with a tennis ball, let me know. My other subscribers would love to hear them!

 

Please share with family and friends, and as always, call us if you have any questions.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article

312-972-Well

 

 

 

 

 

Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Watermelon and High Blood Pressure

watermelon

Eating as little as two one-inch slices of watermelon daily,
can stop pre-hypertension from ever turning into full-blown
high blood pressure, according to Florida State University.
Watermelon is the richestdietary source of L-citruline, an
amino acid that your body converts into artery-relaxing
L-arginine. L-arginine supplements are another option,
but many people struggle with nausea, indigestion and
diarrhea when they take these pills. Watermelon will not
upset your tummy one bit.
 
Health and Wellness Associates
312-972-Well
Foods, Health and Disease, Lifestyle

Foods to Avoid when you have High Blood Pressure

HBPheart

Foods to Avoid when you have High Blood Pressure

In America, almost one in three adults are living with high blood pressure, that’s why the topic of dietary recommendations for high blood pressure is becoming more and more popular these days. What causes high blood pressure? Normally not consuming enough vegetables and fruits can result in a high sodium intake and low potassium intake, which can contribute to developing high blood pressure. So with high blood pressure, you are recommended to have a diet low in sodium and fat, avoid these foods:

  • Pickles

Pickles are super low in calories and fat, and are also high in vitamin K, which helps your blood clot after the injury, that’s great. But they are loaded with sodium, one medium pickle provides more than 570mg of sodium, that’s more than 1/3 of the daily recommended needs. So if you’re with high blood pressure, limit your pickle intake.

  • Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is with several health benefits, including providing vitamin C and K, iron and a good amount of fiber, and it also boosts your immune system, but you should limit the amount you eat, or choose low-sodium brands, as a half cup of it has more than 460 mg of sodium, 19% of your recommended daily intake.

  • Bacon

Bacon is not only delicious, it’s also like other pork products, contains B-vitamins (vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, B12), vitamin D as well as the minerals zinc, iron and magnesium, which are all essential for a positive health body. But why most people feel afraid to eat it? As it’s super high in sodium, three slices contain around 270 mg of sodium and 4.5 grams of fat, so it’s wise to try turkey bacon for lower sodium intake instead of the salty&fatty pork bacon.

  • Whole Milk

When you’re trying to build muscle, whole milk is your best choice, it provides more fat than you need, a one cup serving of whole milk contains 8 grams of fat. While if you are living with high blood pressure, try using 2% milk, or even better-skim milk, as the saturated fats whole milk contains are bad for you and may lead to heart disease.

  • Donuts

People like donuts, for its sweet taste, but they are not good for your health. A single donut can provide more than 300 calories and 12 grams of fat, as they’re fried, means you’re getting lots of saturated and trans fat, which can increase your risk of heart disease.

  • Ramen Noodles

Ramen noodles are popular among college students all over the world, as they’re inexpensive and so convenient. However, it’s not a healthy choice as they’re lack of nutrients and with lots of unhealthy components. One package of ramen provides 14 grams of fat, including 6 grams of saturated fat, and 1731 grams of sodium, more than 70% of the recommended daily needs! In fact, the flavor packet contains most of the sodium, so to reduce sodium intake, it’s better to not add the flavor packet.

  • Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol may raise your blood pressure to unhealthy levels, and alcohol can damage the walls of blood vessels. For people with high blood pressure, avoid alcohol totally or drink in moderation. Moderate drinking is generally considered to be:

  • One drink for men age more than 65 per day
  • Two drinks for men younger than age 65 per day
  • One drink for women of any age per day

A drink is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.

If you have high blood pressure, limit eating these above foods and focusing on low-sodium foods can help. Some good choices are: potassium-rich bananas, salt-free seasonings, potassium-packed white potatoes, fresh fish, nutrient-packed lima beans, iron-rich spinach, omega-3 fatty acids-rich flaxseed.

Health and Wellness Associates

312-972-WELL (9355)

Archived Article : Jordan

Rx to Wellness

Probiotics for High Blood Pressure

HBP

Probiotics could be used for people with High Blood Pressure

Probiotics are products containing the “friendly” bacteria that normally inhabit the human intestinal tract, where these beneficial microbes help complete the digestive process. Some of these microbes actually produce vitamins, and evidence suggests that without them, the immune system doesn’t function optimally, compromising resistance to infection. The latest word on probiotics is that they may also help lower blood pressure. A new analysis of nine earlier randomized controlled trials found that regularly taking probiotics led to reductions in systolic blood pressure (the top number) by an average of 3.56 millimeters of mercury and diastolic pressure by 2.38. While these changes aren’t dramatic, the Australian research team that conducted the review concluded that bigger reductions may occur in people who already have high blood pressure (some of the study participants had normal blood pressure to begin with) Greater benefits might also be possible using probiotics that provide larger quantities of helpful bacteria or multiple species, or when people take probiotics for more than two months, as was the case in the studies reviewed. Positive effects from probiotics on diastolic blood pressure were greatest in people whose blood pressure was equal to or greater than 130/85, which is considered elevated. The probiotics used in the studies were primarily strains of Lactobacillus in dairy products. The study authors concluded that more research is needed before doctors can confidently recommend probiotics for control and prevention of high blood pressure.

Sources: Jing Sun et al, “Effect of Probiotics on Blood Pressure – A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized, Controlled Trials,” Hypertension, doi: 10.1161/ HYPERTENSIONAHA.114.03469

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article

Carrothers – AW

312-972-WELL (9355)