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Latest Research on High Blood Pressure

Fitness Top Exercises to Lower Blood Pressure

According to the American Hear t Association (AHA), more than 75 million Americans have hypertension, also known as high blood pressure.This condition makes the hear t work harder to pump blood throughout the body. Regular exercise strengthens the hear t muscle, increases endurance and reduces high blood pressure. Regular exercise can lower blood pressure and choosing the right workout can make exercise fun. You can do 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity 3 to 4 times a week or break it into smaller segments, whatever works best for your schedule. Cardiovascular or aerobic exercise - walking, jogging, swimming, cycling and dancing – makes your body deliver large amounts of oxygen to your working muscles.Walking, which is low impact and easily accessible, causes minimal stress to joints. Forty-minute segments several times a week or multiple shorter jaunts are equally effective.


A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine claims that structured exercise may be as effective as drugs in lowering blood pressure in people with high blood p r e s s u r e (above 140 mm Hg ) . Subs tituting exercise for drugs could be a problem because of other health issues and inactivity among about 40 percent of adults. Researchers used data from 194 clinical trials about the impact of drugs on reducing systolic blood pressure and 197 trials about the effect of structured exercise; the trials involved 40,000 people. Lead author Dr. Huseyin Naci, Department of Health Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, stated, “We don’t think, on the basis of our study, that patients should stop taking their antihyper- tensive medications, but we hope t h a t ou r f i n d i n g s w i l l i n f o r m ev i dence based discussions be- tween clinicians and their patients.”

Resistance exercise can reduce blood pressure over the long term. Strengthening and building muscle with weights, bands, kettlebells and body weight can lower systolic (the top number of a blood pressure reading) and diastolic (the bottom number) pressure by over 3 points each in healthy populations. A 2018 study presented at the European Society of Cardiology conference in Munich indicates that one type of workout is especially effective in reducing hypertension. According to Professor Ashok Pandey, of the Center for Innovation and Transnational Research, Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, doing yoga for just 15 minutes a day can lower blood pressure nearly twice as much as taking standard medications. Simple yoga poses, such as the downward-facing dog, require little flexibility. Most physicians agree that any exercise will help to reduce blood pressure. By keeping the body moving and getting the heart pumping, exercise makes blood vessels supple and relaxed. Research also proves that exercise improves a person’s mental outlook.

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Doctors recommend the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet to reduce high blood pressure, which includes fruits and vegetables that are rich in potassium, magnesium and fiber while low in sodium. Consider including the following fruits and vegetables in your diet to help reduce high blood pressure naturally:

strawberries are tasty complements to cereal or granola and are easy to prepare for a healthy dessert. APPLES The doctor was right; an apple a day contains antioxidants such as vitamin C and flavonoids to keep blood vessels healthy and your immunity strong. Rich in potassium and phosphorous and low in sodium, apples help to maintain the electrolyte balance in the body. POMEGRANATES While not as popular as berries, pomegranates are a healthy fruit that can be enjoyed raw, as a juice or cooked in recipes. Drinking a cup of pomegranate juice once a day quickly lowers blood pressure. Even though factors such as age, family history, gender and race are impossible to control, maintaining a healthy diet including four to five daily servings each of these fruits and vegetables can go a long way to help keep your blood pressure in check.

LEAFY GREENS High in potassium to help the kidneys eliminate sodium, leafy greens include romaine lettuce, arugula, kale, turnip greens, collard greens, spinach, beet greens and Swiss chard. Also high in mineral vitamin and fiber content, these vegetables contain phytochemicals and antioxidants, such as beta- carotene and lutein, to combat plaque build-up in the blood vessels. BEETS AND YAMS High in nitric oxide and nitrates, beets help to open blood vessels and lower blood pressure. Yams have large quantities of fiber, complex carbohydrates and potassium to increase energy, enhance muscle function and reduce blood pressure. BERRIES These delicious fruits especially blueberries, are naturally rich in flavonoids that lower blood pres- sure. Blueberries, raspberries, and

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Mental Wellness Using Your Mind to Help Reduce High Blood Pressure

Worry and stress affects the circulation, the heart, the glands, the whole nervous system, and profoundly affects heart action. – CHARLES W. MAYO, M.D, AMERICAN SURGEON AND SON OF MAYO CLINIC CO-FOUNDER CHARLES HORACE MAYO.

The above quote emphasizes the role that a person’s mindset can play on their health. If you suffer from high blood pressure, here are three ways your mind can help your heart:

CHANGE THEWAY YOU THINK ABOUT STRESS A study published in theArchives of Internal Medicine found that when a group of 30 adults with high blood pressure received 10 hours of cognitive-behavior therapy, the participants showed a significant reduction in blood pressure.The treatment focused on changing thoughts, beliefs and assump- tions about stress and anger.These results were compared to a second group of participants with high blood pressure that had no treatment.The second group showed no health improvement.



Engaging in deep breathing exercises is a natural way to reduce your blood pressure and keep your heart healthy. To get started, take a deep breath and concentrate on how you feel as you are breathing.Your lungs should feel completely full with air as you inhale and your stomach should rise when you exhale. Deep breathing slows down the heart, which helps to reduce stress and bring down blood pressure.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), having a sense of gratitude can also help reduce blood pressure.The AHA states that by focusing on the positive and expressing gratitude to others, you can boost your level of optimism and outlook on your life. Studies show that having a daily gratitude practice can reduce stressful thoughts and make you happier and healthier overall.

For additional support with high blood pressure / hypertension, consider joining Pinnacle Health Management’s confidential care management program. High blood pressure is one of six chronic conditions that the care management program helps employees manage better. Par ticipants receive complimentary one-on-one coaching with a registered nurse, medication discounts and educational materials. For more information, contact us at (844) 230-1121 or at . Additional Support

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Financial Wellness Relieving Tax Prep Stress Tax season can be highly stressful, time-consuming and complicated, and for some, can contribute to increased stress and even higher blood pressure! To help combat the stress of filing your taxes, plan ahead and get organized to make the experience more manageable. Here are some tips to help you get ready for tax day:

SpiceSpotlight How Turmeric Lowers Blood Pressure Turmeric, the spice that gives curr y powder its yellow color, can flavor food while lowering blood pressure. While its effec- tiveness varies with each indi- vidual, turmeric has been used safely in Chinese medicine for many centuries. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) con- tains curcumin, an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory chemical that helps to lower blood cholesterol and dilate ar teries by blocking ca l c i um t r anspor t . Cur cumi n protects blood cells from damage and bolster s nitric oxide pro- duction at the blood vessels, enabl i ng re l axed , smoot her blood flow. Additionally, turmeric lowers systolic blood pressure. Turmeric comes in many forms. Adults should take 400 to 600 mg of standardized powder or tablets three times a day or 30 to 90 drops of liquid extracts daily. Exper ts recommend 1.5 to 3 grams per day of dried cut root or dried powdered root. Mixing curcumin with fish, coconut, or extra virgin olive oil increases absorption as much a s seven t imes . You can use t urmer i c as a salt substitute to reduce sodium intake or add 10-30 drops of liquid turmeric two or three times a day to juice, smoothies, milk and teas.

professional. According to a 2017 survey, 32 percent of Americans hired a professional tax preparer while 35 percent used commercial tax software when they had filed taxes the previous year. • Straightforward tax situations may enable you to do your own taxes, but complicated situations may require a professional. If you own a business, you cer tainly need a tax preparer, but it can also be complicated if you changed your marital situation, bought or sold a house, changed jobs or had a baby. Once your taxes are filed, you can relax and stop worrying about missing the deadline. Keep the tax documents in your organizer and hold onto them for 3 years. Doing so will make filing next year’s taxes so much easier.

• Gather paperwork throughout the year and organize it in advance.That includes such items as W-2 or 1099 forms, earnings statements, bank statements, mortgage statements, investment information and debt related information. • Review deductible expenses throughout the year.These expenses might be childcare costs, medical costs, home improvements, major purchases, contributions to retirement accounts and charitable contributions, or they could be business expenses. • Record all of these items on spreadsheets to make it easier to track them. Maintain the paper receipts needed for attaching to IRS forms in files. • Decide whether to use a tax software package or a tax

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