Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Are You in Denial About Your Blood Pressure?

Do you have high blood pressure? 

Come on - be honest.  Isn't it just a little high?  Just a little?  I know, because people lie to me.  Even my own mother (sorry, Mom). 

My conversation with Mom goes something like this: 

ME:  Mom,  how's your blood pressure?
MOM:  Fine.
ME:  What was it?
MOM:  Oh, 138 over 85.  It's fine.
ME:  Mom, you know it's not fine.
MOM:  Well, that's high, but it's lower.
ME:  Mom, if it's high, meaning over 120 or over 80, then, it's high.
MOM:  You're right.

High blood pressure is known as the silent killer for two very good reasons:

  • First, many people do not routinely go to their doctor and/or have their blood pressure checked. 
  • Second, a majority of people diagnosed with prehypertension or higher, will stay in a state of denial about their condition, thinking it's not serious yet.
As I tell my mom, and numerous clients and friends, if your blood pressure is starting to "creep" upwards, don't wait for it to become "high" before you do something about it.  Clinically, if your blood pressure is higher than 120/80, you are prehypertensive.  In my books, you're heading down that slippery slope where you'll soon be on high blood pressure medication.  Do you think it's not a big deal?  After all, lots of people are on high blood pressure medication.  In fact, 1 in 3 Americans have high blood pressure, costing us more than $93.5 billion annually.  That's a big deal!

On a personal note, I too have noticed my blood pressure creeping upwards.  I could always count on a 110/60 blood pressure reading when I went to see the doctor.  Recently though, it's been "creeping" upwards towards 115/72.  It's still under the prehypertensive numbers, but, it's getting higher, and I'm doing something about it BEFORE it gets prehypertensive.  I'm ramping up my exercise and I'm watching my diet, the two things your doctor will tell you to do either before giving you medication, or in conjunction with medication.

You should exercise at a moderate intensity for 30-60 minutes most days of the week and should eat a diet high in fiber and low in saturated fat, and should avoid processed and fast foods.

When was the last time you had your blood pressure checked?  Are you doing something about it?

Let me know if you have any questions.  In the meantime,

Live 365fitt,

Kathy is available for Healthy Active Living Coaching.  Contact Kathy@365fitt.com.

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