A High Blood Pressure Epidemic
High blood pressure is as bad an epidemic in America as diabetes is; maybe because they are both rooted in being overweight, or at least they are for me.
Blood pressure measures the force of the blood pumping against the walls of your arteries. When that blood pressure is too high, it becomes dangerous.
High blood pressure can damage our hearts and other major organs. It can also cause a stroke.
If there was an easy AND healthy way to lower your blood pressure, would you want to know more about it?
Yoga Improved My Blood Pressure
My doctor has been after me for years to lower my blood pressure. I’ve tried picking up my crafts again, losing weight (unsuccessfully) and gardening along with the 3-4 different blood pressure medicines I’ve been on. Yoga surprised me as the first solution I’ve tried that actually worked for me.
My blood pressure continues to steadily improve. I credit my practice of restorative yoga for putting me on the right track to lowering my blood pressure. Yoga is not a cure for high blood pressure, but it definitely helped me reduce mine. Yoga may be something you can talk to your doctor about if you have high blood pressure.
What Causes High Blood Pressure?
For most of us, blood pressure goes up as we get older so keeping an eye on our blood pressure readings becomes more important as we age.
Sometimes the medicine we take can raise our blood pressure. If you take medications for asthma, allergies or even for a cold, be sure to check with your doctor to keep a watchful eye on your blood pressure.
Other illnesses or conditions can raise your blood pressure as well. Kidney disease, pregnancy, menopause, thyroid problems and sleep apnea are among some that can raise blood pressure to dangerous levels.
Smoking, water retention and weight gain can also raise our blood pressure to unhealthy levels.
It’s important to have your physical exams regularly and to have them check your blood pressure. I was smoking, gained a lot of weight and hit menopause, all in my late 40’s and early 50’s.
Can you guess what happened next? My doctor said, “We have to talk about your blood pressure.” I was just getting over being surprised when he then asked if I ever felt dizzy. Then, I started listening!
What Is Considered Normal Blood Pressure?
When your blood pressure is measured, it’s measured two ways. So when you see your “blood pressure numbers,” they look like a fraction–one number over another number.
The top number is called the systolic pressure and it measures the pressure of your blood against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats. The bottom number is called the diastolic pressure and it measures the pressure as the heart rests between beats.
The normal blood pressure range is 120/80. Having a lower number in either position is fine too. At about 140/90, the blood pressure is considered to be high. Your doctor will recommend treatment such as medication and any needed lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, etc.
Yoga And High Blood Pressure
Yoga, meditation and deep breathing exercises have helped me reduce my blood pressure from 2-5 points, as long as I keep to my regimen, eat properly and take my medication.
There have been studies that suggest that yoga has a positive effect on our cardiovascular system. Going by how rejuvenated I feel after a yoga session, I can see how that would be true.
Always check with your doctor before taking on any exercise plan.
I was surprised to hear my doctor advise me NOT to jog, but wholeheartedly agreed that Yoga and Tai Chi were excellent choices to alleviate my arthritis and reduce my blood pressure.
After you’ve checked with your doctor, be sure to check your community for Yoga classes for beginners. There are several here that hold Yoga classes, so I was blessed to find the perfect Yoga discipline for me.
I chose restorative yoga for myself because it’s very soothing and relaxing. It’s all about letting your body experience the passive poses using blankets, bolsters and/or blocks. It’s so rejuvenating!