Know Your Blood Pressure and How to Lower it, Right Now!

Blood pressure cuff and stethoscope.

Maintaining healthy blood pressure is one thing you can do to live a long and healthy life. Lifestyle choices, including diet and exercise, are the primary ways to influence blood pressure. Unfortunately, individuals often make poor choices that negatively impact blood pressure, leading to serious health problems and death. Almost half of all Americans have high blood pressure, and many don’t even know it. In the first of a two-part series, learn what blood pressure is, how it’s measured, what is considered normal blood pressure, and why high blood pressure is called “the silent killer.” Plus, we throw in a tip on what you can do right now to lower your blood pressure. 

Blood Pressure explained

Blood pressure is blood pushing against the walls of your arteries.  Your arteries carry blood from your heart to other parts of the body.  Blood pressure rises and falls throughout the day and is measured using two numbers.  The first number, sometimes referred to as the “top number,” is the systolic blood pressure.  The systolic number measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. The second number, sometimes called the “bottom number,” is the diastolic blood pressure.  The diastolic number measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats.  Combined, blood pressure is expressed as “the systolic number over the diastolic number.”   According to the Centers for Disease Control, normal or healthy blood pressure is 120/80 (120 over 80) or less. 

There are many places to get your blood pressure checked.  Aside from your doctor’s office, many drug and grocery stores offer free readings. You can also get a home measurement device, so there is no excuse not to know your numbers.

The Dangers of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is when your blood pressure is higher than normal.  140/80 is considered high blood pressure.  The higher your levels, the more risk you have for heart disease, heart attack, vision loss, kidney disease, and stroke.

High Blood Pressure by the Numbers
Adults in the US with High Blood Pressure45%
Men in the US with High Blood Pressure47%
Women in the US with High Blood Pressure43%
Non-Hispanic African Americans in the US with High Blood Pressure54%
Non-Hispanic Caucasian Americans in the US with High Blood Pressure46%
Non-Hispanic Asian Americans in the US with High Blood Pressure39%
Hispanic Americans in the US with High Blood Pressure36%
Source: US Centers for Disease Control

Low Blood Pressure Issues

Elderly couple sitting on a bench near a white brick storefront.
Posture Low Pressure can put the elderly at risk of injury.

Low blood pressure can also cause health issues, including dizziness, fainting, blurred vision, fatigue, and depression.  Blood pressure less than 90/60 is considered to be low.  There are two types of low blood pressure, chronic and postural.  According to WebMD, Chronic low blood pressure with no symptoms is rarely serious. On the other hand, postural low blood pressure occurs in people 65 and older. Posture low pressure is a sudden drop in blood pressure when a person rises over a lying down or sitting position.  It creates sudden dizziness and increases the risk of falls and injury.  When rising from a lying position, we recommend starting with a sitting position and holding it 30 seconds before standing up.  

The Silent Killer

High blood pressure is called the “silent killer.” That’s because high blood pressure usually has no warning signs or symptoms. It can damage the body for years before symptoms develop, then a person suffers a fatal stroke or heart attack. Therefore, many people don’t know they have it until it’s too late.

However, there could be symptoms like severe headaches, nosebleed, confusion, chest pain, pounding in the chest, neck, or ear.  A hypertensive emergency can lead to a heart attack or stroke, so if you have any of these symptoms, take action.  It’s vital to know your blood pressure numbers.

How to Lower Your Blood Pressure, RIGHT NOW!

Ditch the salt, keep the pepper.

On the positive side, you can directly impact your blood pressure through dietary and lifestyle choices. One thing you can do today is to stop adding salt to your food. Lose the salt shaker. It’s just that simple.  According to the American Heart Association, if you reduce your sodium intake to less than ¾ teaspoon per day, you could get a 25 percent decrease in your blood pressure.

That might seem easy. An average intake of 1,500 mg of sodium per day is a little more than ½ teaspoon.  But there is so much sodium in many of the foods we eat that it quickly adds up. In my next article, you will learn how to effectively cut salt from your diet through better food and lifestyle choices.  For now, stop adding salt to the food you eat, and you will be on the right path to lower blood pressure.

In our Next Article

Blood pressure is a critical measure of health and wellness. Knowing and managing your blood pressure is important to living a long and healthy life. The best news is that everyone can have normal blood pressure if they make the right lifestyle choices. In our next blog, we will take a more in-depth look at the risk factors and what you can do to lower blood pressure. In the meantime, lose the salt shaker and read past articles on health and wellness from Naturally. . . You.  Check our website for high-quality, full-spectrum CBD products and services to help live a long, healthy life, naturally. 

The Six Keys to Optimal Health Can Be A Lifeline.

A lighthouse shining through a storm symbolizes the promise of hope.

Parts of the world are starting to see recovery from COVID-19, but we still have a long way to go before we can be protected from this virus. There are reasons to be optimistic and look forward to getting back to normal.  But how will we define normal in the months and years ahead?  Terrorist attacks changed the travel industry forever, and COVID-19 will have a similar effect on the way we live.  In turbulent times, it’s natural to find comfort in the traditions and activities we enjoyed in the past. But how can we go back to living as if this pandemic never happened or nothing has changed? We need to protect ourselves and families now more than ever. We must safeguard our physical and mental health, stay strong, and determined to find ways to thrive. In changing times, the Six Keys to Optimal Health can be a lifeline.

Diet –

It’s more important now to maintain a healthy diet, but some foods may be in short supply.  So, you may have to improvise.  If the meat counter is bare, substitute eggplant or mushrooms.  They are inexpensive and healthy options to add to marinara sauce for pasta dishes.  If eggs are hard to source, alternatives like unsweetened applesauce, bananas, and avocado will work in most baked goods. There are lots of helpful suggestions all over the internet.  Another issue right now is portion control.  Many are overeating as a result of boredom and anxiety. If you find yourself reaching for snacks too often, drink half a glass of water every time they tempt you. Another option is to take a lap around the house or do a few exercises. It’s healthier for both your mind and body.

Exercise – 

A young woman exercising alone in a park on a sunny morning.
Outdoor exercise is an option if you can still maintain a safe distance from others.

You are probably stuck at home.  Your gym is closed.  You might even feel a bit sluggish from binge-watching television and overeating.  Now is the time to be extra dedicated to exercise, and there are lots of home-based options.  You can follow yoga and tai chi classes online from your living room.  In the same space, you can still do pushups, lunges, crunches, and burpees. If you live in a high-rise building, walk the stairs. 

Getting outside is important but remaining socially distant from others is necessary. Find a secluded trail to walk, run, or ride a bike.  Swim laps if you have a backyard pool.  If you live on a lake or near a large body of water, paddle boarding and kayaking might be options. There are so many options, and if you are no longer commuting to work, you have extra time to fit in a workout every day.    

Renewal —

We need to keep fears from affecting our mental health. To stay more positive, practice gratitude every day and limit yourself to the amount of TV news you watch. Instead of binge-watching, use the time to brush up on your skills or learn a new one.  There are several teaching websites like Skillshare and Creative Live.  They offer affordable classes in almost everything, from computer software to baking to bartending.

One guaranteed way to feel better is to help your neighbors.  If you bake cookies, leave a few in a ziplock bag by a neighbor’s doorstep with a short note wishing them well.  If you make a weekly grocery run, offer to pick up some items for them, especially if they are elderly or not feeling well. Learning new things and helping others will keep you from anxiety and depression during these unsettled times. Every day I see examples of people helping their neighbors and community. It’s heartwarming.  Do your part, and it will touch your soul.

Sleep –

You might be getting more sleep than usual right now. That’s a good thing since sleep boosts the immune system naturally and it’s one of the Six Keys to Optimal Health.  Now more than ever, get at least 8 hours a night. If you need help falling asleep, check out our recent blog, Tips to Improve the Quality of Your Sleep.  If you are having trouble getting to sleep, many of our clients fall asleep faster by taking CBD gummy bears or rings. Visit my website for more information and call me to place an order.

Supplementation –

A supplement capsule with images of healthy foods floating out of it's center.  It boosts the immune system and is one of the six keys to optimal health.
Supplements can boost your immune system and keep you healthy.

According to Healthline, the top five immune-boosting supplements you should take right now are:

  1. Vitamin D is essential for immune function and can lower the risk of respiratory infections.
  2. Zinc may help protect against respiratory tract infections.  If you have one, it can reduce the duration of the infection.
  3. Vitamin C is vital for immune health and can reduce the severity of an upper respiratory infection.
  4. Elderberry may reduce symptoms of upper respiratory infections caused by viruses.
  5. Selenium supports antiviral defense systems that fight many strains of the flu, including H1N1.

Other immune-boosting supplements include garlic, licorice, B-Complex Vitamins, turmeric, and Echinacea.  Many of my clients take the M’Lis supplement Vital. It is an powerful antioxidant containing Astaxanthin, 300 mg of Vitamin C, Selenium, and Ginkgo Biloba that naturally boosts the immune system.

Water –

Water carries oxygen to each cell in your body and transports waste away.  Since cells are the building blocks of the systems in your body, this process helps to ensure proper function.  One of those systems in the immune system.  So, to ensure your immune systems is performing at its peak, make sure to drink at least eight glasses a day.  Learn more about how important water is by reading our recent article Why Your Best Days Start with Water.

These are challenging times for everyone.  The world has changed and is more uncertain than ever.  When we think about what the future holds, it’s easy to get anxious and fearful. But you don’t need to be a victim. You can always take action, and that will give you a sense of empowerment and confidence.  Protect your family by focusing on the Six Keys to Optimal Health.  It can be a physical and mental lifeline, now more than ever. Things will get better. People are good. We will help each other, persevere, and thrive. That’s what we do.