I spend a lot of time talking about exercise, and rightfully so, I might add. To me, it has simply become a topic that all red-blooded humans can no longer afford to avoid. Busy schedules, poor sleeping habits, stress, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, and long work days leave us open for many health risks.

I spend a lot of time talking about exercise, and rightfully so, I might add. To me, it has simply become a topic that all red-blooded humans can no longer afford to avoid.  Busy schedules, poor sleeping habits, stress, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, and long work days leave us open for many health risks. 

As we age, one problem that comes to mind is the status of our blood pressure. Do you know your blood pressure? If you have no idea, I encourage you to find out as soon as possible and/or certainly at your next doctors visit. Typically, an ideal range to shoot for is 120 over 80.  If you vary lower or higher than these numbers, it may be a good idea to consult with your doctor. Your situation could be minimal, or results may inform you of a more serious problem. 

I think the most important thing here is that you find out where you stand so can start taking proactive steps toward improvement as early as possible and with the help of your trained physician.

It may be hard to believe that exercise and high blood pressure are closely related. However, taking small, consistent steps to exercise regularly can make a big difference in blood pressure improvement over time.

If you are not active, I challenge you to make a pact with yourself to become more active starting today. It is important not to sit back and wait for high blood pressure to strike. Instead, let’s get moving now and try to prevent it from increasing in the first place.

Since regular exercise helps prevent high blood pressure, it also can have an impact on the reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. It is also important to note that if your blood pressure is already high, regular exercise may be very beneficial in helping you control it. Once again, you and your doctor will decide the method that is best for dealing with your particular situation.

Regular physical activity makes your heart stronger. When your heart is stronger, it pumps more blood with less effort. That’s important, because the less your heart has to work, the smaller amount of pressure or exertion is placed on the arteries.  Becoming active can lower your blood pressure to the same extent as some blood pressure medications.  For others, it may be so effective that it can even reduce the need for blood pressure medications altogether.

The key is to exercise and keep it up for the rest of our lives, because as soon as we stop, the physical benefits cease as well. It takes one to three months for regular exercise to really have an impact on your blood pressure, so please don’t ever quit.

While maintaining strength training and flexibility are important to our overall program, aerobic activity helps us most to control blood pressure.  Just adding moderate physical activity to your daily routine will help. Any physical activity that increases your heart rate and breathing rates is considered aerobic. Mowing the lawn, scrubbing floors, climbing stairs, walking, jogging, and bicycling are all ways to increase your aerobic activity. I challenge you to aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity on most days of the week.  If you cannot complete that much time at once, it is certainly acceptable to break it up into several shorter increments.  For example, three 10-minute bursts of physical activity anytime throughout your day.

When choosing your activity options it is a good idea to check with your physician before beginning if you are a man age 40 or a woman 50 years old.  Also if you smoke, are overweight, have chronic health conditions, have had a heart attack, have a family history of heart-related problems before the age of 55, or simply are unsure of your health status.

To stay safe and reduce the risk of injury while exercising, start slowly. Remember to warm up before you exercise and cool down afterward. Build up your workouts gradually.

Life is certainly worth living to its fullest, but to do so we have got to stay healthy. Knowing your blood pressure is definitely a step in the right direction.

Until next week, please make it a healthy and nutritious day. 

To get started on your health, weight loss, and performance goals, contact Reggies Personal Training and Nutrition, 104 E. Main, Downtown Shawnee, (405) 613-0237, or message Reggie at Reggies Personal Training and Nutrition Facebook page.