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How you can keep an optimal blood pressure

Just got my blood pressure taken the other day. Here was the result…juggling heart

Blood Pressure:  117 / 72
Resting pulse : 58

It looks like 4.6 miles of running and juggling each day has some positive benefits on heart rate and blood pressure anyway. According to the information given at our health fair blood pressure values can be indicative of overall heart health.

Blood Pressure Ranges

 

  1. Optimal less than 120/80
  2. Pre-Hypertension 120/80 – 139/89
  3. Stage 1 Hypertension 140/90 – 159/99
  4. Stage 2 Hypertension Greater than 160/100

In case you were curious, the first number is the systolic pressure and refers to the pressure in your arteries when your heart is pumping. The second number called the diastolic pressure relates to the pressure in arteries when the heart is relaxed. Both of these numbers are reported as millimeters of mercury (mmHg). For you physics enthusiasts out there (lots of jugglers are) 120 mmHg is approximately 2.32 psi (pounds per square inch).

Why is hypertension bad?

There are a variety of problems associated with hypertension. Some of the more common ones are heart attack, stroke or kidney problems. The reason these things happen is because hypertension

  1. Thickens blood vessels
  2. Results in fatty deposits forming
  3. Causes obstructions in arteries leading to heart attacks and stroke
  4. Leads to kidney damage
  5. Could cause an artery to bulge or burst.

Overall, it’s not good. To keep on top of things, make sure you get your blood pressure checked at least once a year.

What can you do about high blood pressure?

Of course, all the usual advice applies.

  • Lose weight. Really, leaner people generally live longer although there are exceptions.
  • Exercise regularly. Daily joggling is best for this, it moves your arms and legs.
  • Quit smoking. People still do this?
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine. Really, can’t we have any fun?
  • Control stress. Nothing like a perfect juggling pattern to relieve stress.

Of course, all these things have worked for me (except maybe the limiting of alcohol and caffeine) and my heart numbers look pretty good. But the truth is you could do everything I do, eat the way I do, exercise as much and still succumb to a heart attack. Don’t let anyone kid you, most of your health is determined by your genetics. There’s not much you can do about changing that.

See the Blood Pressure Association for more information.

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