Happy New Year! I hope you were able to enjoy the changing of the calendar once again. It's always exciting to look forward to what the New Year has in store for us. If you're like a lot of people, you're setting your New Year's resolutions. Your resolution might be to get healthier, lose weight, or start an exercise program. Well, if you've got high blood pressure, I've got a great reason for all three.
As I've told you in the past, you don't need medication for most cases of hypertension. That's because, for most people, blood pressure is one of the best barometers of your lifestyle. If you're living a healthy lifestyle, your chances of having high blood pressure are quite low. But a new study says there's one lifestyle behavior that works better than all the rest.
A group of researchers, led by Dr. John Booth, III, made the presentation at the recent American Heart Association meeting in San Francisco. His team told the AHA that they wanted to find out which of five healthy behaviors had the biggest impact on blood pressure: not smoking, limiting alcohol (drinking seven or fewer alcoholic drinks per week for women or 14 or fewer drinks a week for men), eating a healthy diet, getting 150 minutes or more a week of moderate to vigorous exercise, or maintaining a healthy weight.
The study began in 1985. It looked at 4,700 men and women between the ages of 18 and 30 years old. Then, over the next 25 years, the researchers checked their health behaviors and measured their blood pressures eight different times. The most influential factor might surprise you.
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Amazingly enough, exercise, diet, not smoking, and limiting alcohol intake by themselves did not seem to make much of a difference. They did help. But they weren't nearly as effective at keeping blood pressure down as maintaining a decent weight. This one lifestyle factor made a huge difference.
Those who were able to maintain a healthy weight were 41% less likely to see their blood pressure go up. According to Dr. Booth, "Our results indicate by maintaining a healthy body weight into middle age, you can help preserve low blood pressure."
Excess weight can contribute to high blood pressure in a number of ways. When you carry extra weight, your heart has to work harder. The extra weight compresses your blood vessels. Over time, this produces heart problems, as it causes your blood vessels to stiffen as you get older. When you don't gain weight, there's less stiffening. So if you can keep your weight lower, you lower your blood pressure. The only exception to this is genetic hypertension. But even in these cases, lower weight can help tremendously.
So if your blood pressure is high, and you're carrying around extra weight, make it your resolution to lose the weight today. There are a number of diets out there that can help. But the one I've used and have seen work for everyone who tries it is Lock It In Weight Loss.
Even if your weight gain is due to a medical condition, this program can work with your illness and help you drop the pounds. You can learn all about it by going to www.lockitinweightloss.com. Oh, and if you contact them, don't forget to mention the savings code ADVANCEDWEIGHTLOSS for 10% off.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening, ND.