Ever head to the grocery store and get one of those free blood pressure tests? Or do you nod at your doctor when he takes the cuff off and says "well you are xyz over abc". I know I used to nod in uber agreement like he just told me i was a newly anointed genius - until I actually found out what it meant.
So here it is: do you know what those numbers ACTUALLY mean? Your local Longmont Chiropractor Dr Jay Breitlow is here to talk about it for a brief moment.
What Is Blood Pressure? This is the pressure of the blood in the cardiovascular system. The force and rate that the heart beats and the elasticity of the artery walls dictates ultimately what the pressure of your blood is.
What’s a Healthy Blood Pressure? The standard for normal, healthy blood pressure is considered 120/80. OK FINE!!! But what do those numbers mean?
The top/over number (120) is the systolic pressure. It represents the peak pressure your blood exerts against artery walls when your heart beats - or pushes blood into the body.
The bottom/under number (80) is diastolic pressure. It represents the pressure against artery walls when your heart is at rest between heart beats - aka the time when the heart is not pushing blood into the system
Why Does Blood Pressure Matter? Blood pressure usually indicates the general health of your arteries, the heart and the circulatory system as a whole.
Increased blood pressure usually means the vessels, and the heart are overworked as they attempt to deliver blood to your human body. But generally, you won’t notice changes in your blood pressure without getting it measured. Kinda like your nervous system!! Aka see your local chiropractic specialist.
A single high or low blood pressure reading does not necessarily indicate an epic or chronic problem. Blood pressure can temporarily fluctuate based on stress levels, what you ate or drank before measuring, whether you exercised today amongst other variables. However, "no duh" moment, it’s always best to speak to your doctor about a high reading!
Maintaining a Healthy Blood Pressure - Keeping your arteries elastic and free-flowing will help maintain blood pressure in the normal range. Fortunately, a few lifestyle habits can help you manage your blood pressure.
- Exercise - Any exercise can be a benefit for your circulatory system, whether it’s walking, yoga, weightlifting, bicycling, swimming, soccer with friends, or any other physical activity you enjoy. The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends 30 minutes of daily activity (a total of 150 minutes a week) for adults ages 18-64. Breathe deeply down to the bottom of your lungs during exercise for the best benefits.
- Diet - Fill up on veggies all day and fruits at night! Generally, they’re great sources of blood pressure-balancing potassium and magnesium. Avoid excess salt—too much causes water retention and potassium depletion.
- Throw Out Tobacco - this should be well documented by 2017. Tobacco has ZERO health benefits to any human being. Ever...
- Stress Management - Managing your stress levels helps you and your blood vessels stay relaxed. Effective stress management activities can vary from person to person. Find what helps you relax, whether it’s a hot bath, exercise, massages or coloring, and make it a regular practice.
- Get adjusted!!!! - A 2008 study linked the position of the top bone in the body to blood pressure!!! When the top bone fell down, then blood pressure went up because there was pressure on the brain stem! YES! TRUE STORY!
Have you had an xray yet to see how chiropractic might be able to help you get your Atlas back into position and thus lower your blood pressure? Call the Longmont Chiropractic team today at 303-776-6767 and see what your innate free of interference can mean!!