Month: December 2017

Foods That Could Lower Your Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also known as Hypertension, is a serious health issue that affects many Americans. The pressure of your blood on your artery walls can cause many health problems including heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke. While many factors contribute to your blood pressure, it’s important to do everything in your control to keep it at healthy level. Exercise and proper diet can help a lot. Here are some foods to consider introducing into your diet or replacing unhealthy options with!

Let’s start with breakfast, a difficult meal for some. Oatmeal is a great option to help lower your blood pressure. It’s high in fiber, and low in fat and sodium. While a bacon, egg, and cheese muffin may sound appetizing, it’s not the best idea when watching your fat and sodium intake. It’s also important to not load your oatmeal up with tons of sugar and butter, as the fiber only goes so far when you’re drowning it in unhealthy additions. Lowfat milk and yogurt are also smart breakfast options!

As a child we are told to “eat our vegetables,” and that goes for adults as well! Leafy greens are high in potassium and other valuable vitamins. Potassium helps your kidneys combat sodium. Lettuce, kale, greens, spinach, they’re all perfect for improving your diet. Eat them raw in a salad, bake kale in the oven for a crunchy snack, or incorporate spinach in whatever meat you’re cooking! Just remember not to douse your salad in tons of dressing, especially not ranch.

Want a healthy main course? Fish is exactly what you’re looking for. High in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, fish like salmon actively combat hypertension while tasting great. There are many different ways to prepare fish, and it goes with just about anything! It’s also easy to cook, which may be a barrier for eating healthy.

And you can’t forget dessert! Fruit is the perfect sweet treat to substitute ice cream or cookies. Berries provide vitamins for a low-calorie cost, while bananas offer high amounts of potassium. But that’s not all; eating dark chocolate can lower your risk for cardiovascular disease. It’s rich flavor and hint of sweetness are a great substitute for less-healthy chocolate desserts.

It’s important to remember that eating one or two of these foods does not mean your blood pressure will be decreased! Be mindful of what you shouldn’t eat as well! Combined with exercise and an overall healthy diet, these foods could help lower your blood pressure.

Low-Impact Exercises

Exercise isn’t meant to be easy for anyone, but for some it’s made even harder. Bad joints, excess weight, osteoporosis, the list goes on for why someone might say they can’t run or lift weights. But just because you can’t run doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise! Remember, runners may not be capable of rock climbing, and climbers may not have the ability to play a contact sport like Football. If you’ve ever stopped yourself from working out because of your bad knees or weight, here are some low-impact exercises you should consider doing!

Walking is the easiest work out, but that doesn’t mean it’s not effective. If you’ve walked around a theme park for a day, you know how tiring walking can be! Running can put a lot of stress on your joints and knees, but walking lacks the quality of running that causes that stress. The difference between running and walking actually isn’t the speed; for a short moment while running both feet leave the ground, while walking is defined by having at least one foot on the ground at all times. This makes a huge difference on the amount of impact because running places all of your weight on the foot you land on, while walking is a smooth transfer of weight from one foot to the other. Power walk around the neighborhood and see how you feel!

Cycling, either on the road or stationary bike, is an excellent work out regardless of your physical limitations. While it can be cost prohibitive if you don’t have a bike, most gyms have stationary bikes. Not only is this an effective form of cardio, it’s also a lot of fun! If you’re interested in cycling there are many resources online to find the right bike for you, and to keep it maintained. More than just a work out for many, cycling could be your new hobby.

Swimming is considered a full-body workout, which means you could make some serious progress if you have access to a pool. Using your arms, legs, and core to stay moving could be the perfect solution for you. It provides a more comprehensive workout than many others while also being probably the lowest impact exercise. It’s the closest we can get to no-impact exercise, as you’re never required to hold your weight up on solid ground. From Olympic athletes to senior citizens swimming keeps your heart pumping fast.

Don’t let excuses get in your way! Consider adding one of these activities to your regular schedule and you’ll be on your way to a healthier life.