Get Control of Your Blood Pressure Now!
Survival situations are stressful no matter how prepared we are. Making quick life-or-death decisions and going through extended periods of time without adequate sleep, proper food or uncertainty can take its toll on our bodies. One of the biggest dangers to individuals who are exposed to prolonged periods of high stress and anxiety is being impacted by high blood pressure.
Unfortunately, many of us have high blood pressure to begin with, and this can create the potential for serious health problems to develop during a crisis. It is very important to take steps to control blood pressure now and make good choices later in order to minimize the numerous life-threatening health risks associated with high blood pressure.
Know Your Blood Pressure
Blood pressure readings have two numbers. The first is the systolic reading. This measures the pressure in your blood vessels as your heart beats and pumps blood. The second is the diastolic reading. This measures the amount of pressure in your vessels between beats when the heart is not pumping blood.
Normal blood pressure is considered to be a diastolic that is below 120 and a systolic below 80. People are considered to be at risk of developing hypertension once the readings increase between 120-140 and 80-90 respectively. High blood pressure is when readings exceed 140 and 90 respectively. The good news is that you can control blood pressure in many cases without having to take medication. However, this doesn’t mean that you should stop taking medication if your doctor has prescribed them as a course of treatment.
Keeping Blood Pressure Down
Diet, exercise, stress control and rest are the top things that we all can do to keep our blood pressure down. The reality is that many people with chronic high blood pressure can make good lifestyle choices and lower it without much medical intervention. This doesn’t replace the need to be under the care of a physician, but it is worth mentioning because we can make good decisions that can improve our overall health now and reduce risk during stressful situations later.
Stimulants such as caffeine and sugar raise blood pressure almost immediately. Alcohol, while a depressant, also raises blood pressure. Reducing intake and replacing them with water, juice and tea can almost immediately reduce blood pressure readings. Foods that are high in fat, sugar and artificial ingredients can also raise blood pressure. Try eating more fruits and vegetables as well as lean meats, fish and lots of grains.
A lack of exercise or a sedentary lifestyle conditions our body to slow down. When we get “jolted” into action, blood pressure levels can skyrocket. We all hear how important it is to have at least 30 minutes a day of physical activity. Take some time to exercise and get your heart rate up a little bit. This will improve the strength of your heart muscle, improve circulation, reduce stress and ultimately reduce blood pressure. Keep in mind that it takes time for the body to adjust, so the full effects of exercise may take a couple of weeks to manifest itself.
We don’t get enough rest in our society, period. Adults need anywhere from 7-8 hours of good sleep every day in order for the body to recharge its batteries. Kids and young people need more. There is a direct relationship between sleep deprivation and stress as well as high blood pressure. Make it a point to get a good night’s sleep as often as possible in order to give the body the break it needs.
This one is obvious, but it is worth mentioning again and again. Reducing stress is one of the best things we can do for our overall health. Stress and high blood pressure also go hand in hand. Find ways, other than through drugs, alcohol or medication to relax and unwind. Exercise reduces stress, along with sleep, good eating and taking time off to enjoy life.
This may sound overly simplistic, but we all need to make time to get away from it all, take a few deep breaths and relax. Find ways to incorporate stress-reduction into your daily life and try to make one day a week an off-day where you can unwind and forget about your problems.
Since all of these things contribute to high blood pressure, imagine what is happening to our bodies when we are being hit by all of them at once. Unfortunately, this is “normal” for many people. Compound that with being faced with the stress of a survival situation, and it is easy to see why our lifestyles can be a recipe for disaster.
Start changing your habits now and creating a lifestyle that is conducive to survival so that you will be fit to deal with real problems later on. You will be surprised at how quickly blood pressure levels can fall once you start making changes. Remember that now is the time to work on preparing so that you will be in a healthier state later on when you need to be on top of your game. The last thing you need is a heart attack, stroke, organ problems or illness brought on by high blood pressure during a SHTF scenario.