New Year's Resolution #2 Lowering Blood Pressure

Do you know someone that has been diagnosed with high blood pressure? If so, the treatment usually involves two paths: either start taking medication to lower your blood pressure, or make some lifestyle changes.

What makes your blood pressure go up? Maybe it’s weight gain, inconsistent exercise regiment, work, finances, family, traffic, Holidays, being late or waiting in the check out aisle causes your blood pressure to rise. 

Want to know what makes my blood pressure go up?

1. Sleep deprivation. Getting at least 6 hours of sleep helps regulate stress hormones and may help lower blood pressure. Without adequate sleep, stress hormones are elevated and cause inflammation, negatively affecting your cardio vascular system. Make a conscious effort to get enough sleep. Whatever is on your plate, or needs to get done should not replace the importance of getting adequate sleep. Keep a pad of paper on your nightstand or type your to-do list on your Notes app before you go to sleep. By clearing your mind of what needs to get done, you can get sleep better, wake up rested and ready to tackle your to-do list and start your day being productive!

2. Traffic. Roads are overcrowded, angry drivers are behind the wheel and in a hurry, and every road seems to be under construction. The Holidays make this season even busier and more frustrating. Try and leave 5-10 minutes earlier for your appointment, drop off and pick up, or next outing. You might arrive a few minutes early, but your blood pressure won’t escalate and you’ll arrive in a calm and peaceful state.

3. Family visits. Am I the only one whose blood pressure rises when family visits? As a type A-person and perfectionist, it’s hard to let go and let God lead the way. What I am discovering is that more often than not, when I relinquish my control over the situation, the outcome is better than I could have imagined. Letting go humbles me and reminds me to ask a lot of questions, listen with two ears and be thankful when others want to help. Embrace family and welcome them with the gift of hospitality. This attitude of gratitude keeps my blood pressure from rising and creates memories of a lifetime.

4. Excessive salt or sugar consumption. After a family wedding, I was starving and devoured The Western burger and french fries with chili and jalapeños from Twisted Root at 11:50 pm. Unlike this binge meal, I try to not consume excessive amounts of salt or sugar. Excessive sugar causes your insulin levels to rise, which raises your blood pressure. Excessive salt causes your body to retain water and elevate your blood pressure. If you happen to overindulge, get back on track by eating well and exercising often. By changing the way you eat and exercise, you can lower your blood pressure.

It is reassuring to know that making changes to your lifestyle can lower your blood pressure and avoid being medicated. The perfect remedy to lower your blood pressure is to be disciplined to eating well, exercise regularly and manage life related stresses as best you can!

As you turn the page towards a New Year, make a conscious effort to recognize blood pressure triggers, be proactive and make healthy living your New Year’s Resolution.

Did you know the pomegranate fruit benefits the heart and blood vessels? The compound punicalagin is found in pomegranate and is responsible for pomegranate’s anti-oxidants and health benefits like lowering blood pressure and reducing heart blockage.

Next week, the topic is taking a sabbatical. What do you need to do less of as you head into 2016?