Is your New Year’s Resolution ‘to get in shape’? If it’s been a while since you’ve worked out, take it easy and pay attention to symptoms of high blood pressure.
Approximately 65 million Americans have hypertension and about 50 million Americans belong to health clubs. No doubt millions more will join shortly after the New Year and many gym newbies will have high blood pressure.
Often referred to as the ‘Number One silent killer’ because symptoms can go unnoticed for years before triggering a massive heart attack or stroke, high blood pressure can lead to the following symptoms while working out:
Shortness of Breath
Double or blurred vision
High blood pressure isn’t in itself the leading cause of death in the U.S.; heart disease, cancer and stroke are the top three. But high blood pressure may be responsible, at least in part, for developing these potentially fatal conditions.
It’s for this reason why many doctors acknowledge that hypertension is the Number One killer in the U.S.
How the Silent Killer Strikes
Other deadly symptoms of high blood pressure include blocked arteries, kidney failure, heart attack and brain hemorrhage.
Obesity is one cause of high blood pressure, so it’s important to exercise but at a low intensity if beginning a weight-loss and exercise program.
The responsible way to start an exercise program, if it’s been a long time since your last workout, is to first get clearance from your doctor.
This is especially true if you haven’t had your blood pressure tested in a long time. Even if you’re not significantly overweight, you may have high blood pressure.
Why do I have to ask my doctor if exercise is right for me?
Most likely, your doctor will encourage your exercise program. Even so, there’s always the possibility that because of high blood pressure, an abnormality may rule out any exercise as a precaution until the problem is diagnosed and addressed.
Anybody that’s received the surprising news they need bypass heart surgery can relate. It wouldn’t be good if they went for a stroll on the treadmill.
Which came first, the anger or the hypertension?
It’s human to get angry; anger isn’t necessarily a bad thing to feel. It’s how we relate to it and manage it, though, that can influence blood pressure.
Know someone who has bulging veins popping out of their forehead when they get angry? Afraid they’re going to burst at any second? This is the type of person vulnerable to elevated blood pressure levels (normal is about 120 over 80).
Prolonged high blood pressure can ultimately lead to premature death.
How can I prevent symptoms of high blood pressure?
Obviously, unhealthy lifestyles like smoking and eating junk food, excess sodium and sugar, may lead to high blood pressure. But you can take baby steps in lowering it by practicing some of the following:
- Moving Meditation: Take tai chi or qigong classes or workshops. Tight on cash? Watch a YouTube video, though you’ll have better chances of sticking with it if you do it with a group or friend.
- Silent Meditation: Silent yoga or still meditation is an excellent way to manage high blood pressure. By focusing on the breath, you’ll improve blood and oxygen flow. It’s been scientifically demonstrated to do so.
- Eat More Foods Rich in Potassium: Sodium and potassium play off each other in a game of balance, much like a see-saw within our trillions of cells. The so called Sodium/Potassium pump refers to the intracellular fluid proportion of both these minerals. Eat some French fries loaded with salt and there’ll be more sodium and less potassium. Eating more potassium-rich foods in your diet helps lower blood pressure, studies have found.
Have any other ideas how to avoid deadly high blood pressure symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.
Judd Handler is a health writer in Encinitas, California.
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