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CAUSES OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

By Gaurang Chandarana | December 13th, 2014 | LEAVE A COMMENT

There is a lot of focus these days on communicable and lifestyle diseases. One of the most important ones which is set to rise exponentially, is high blood pressure; also known as hypertension. This is a cause for worry for most governments and healthcare professionals because high blood pressure inevitable, leads to more serious diseases. Further, this is a condition which in most cases requires lifelong medication and monitoring. These days, there is some confusion as to when we can say that one has high blood pressure. First, let us understand what is blood pressure.

The heart pumps blood to the entire body and is responsible for circulation. Blood which is utilized, comes back to the heart. It gets oxygenated and is pumped to various parts of the body through all the blood vessels. So the heart actually is a pump in its true sense. However, it is a pump which never stops working till you are dead. The blood is pushed through the blood vessels by the pump. The strength of the pressure exerted on the sides of these vessels is called blood pressure. When the blood is pushed out to the body, there is pressure which expands the vessels. This is followed by contraction of the vessels when the blood is not pushed through.

There is therefore, a constant pulsating of the pump (heart). When the heart squeezes or contracts, it pushes out blood to the body with force. This is the systolic blood pressure and is the higher number. When the heart relaxes, blood rushes in. At this stage, the blood vessels are more relaxed. This is known as the diastolic blood pressure.

The benchmark for blood pressure for an average, healthy young adult is 120/80. This varies based on age and basic constitution. If you are in the adolescent years, this could be a little higher due to higher hormonal as well as physical activities. If you are also much older with no other health problems, then even a pressure of up to 145 / 95 is fine.

A person is said to be pre-hypertensive when the arterial pressure consistently remains above 140/90 for two to three months. This phase could be temporary and can be managed through lifestyle changes and managing stress. If this phase continues and there is no reduction, then the individual may be put on medication. If the blood pressure remains at these levels even after light medication and lifestyle changes, the person is diagnosed has having clinical or chronic high blood pressure.

Today, it is estimated that a large part of the population is pre-hypertensive, even though they do not have clinical blood pressure. Even children below the age of twelve are getting high blood pressure in increasing numbers.

But what causes high blood pressure? It is now established that hypertension is a lifestyle disease. Let us see the main causes of this problem:

STRESS

High levels of prolonged stress over a period of time, causes blood pressure to rise; and stay there. This is the biggest contributor to high blood pressure. Today we are all stressed about something or the other. Recent WHO studies have indicated that an estimated ninty percent of the World’s population is facing actual, clinical stress. Even children are stressed about academics, career, parental pressure and peer pressure. It is estimated that almost ten percent of the world’s children have hypertension.

EXERCISE

We have all become physically inactive. Children no longer want to play and parents encourage them to sit at home. We give tablets and play consoles to children so they become physically inactive. We also work more at the work station and do not take any time for even walking. We have also stopped doing housework, thanks to readymade food options and gadgets at home. Lack of exercise makes the arteries less elastic leading to high blood pressure.

FOOD

We all have the wrong kind of food. Most of our food is packaged, pre-prepared, preserved and processed food, junk food, outside food or takeaways. All such food is very unhealthy even though they may be labelled otherwise. All food from a package of any kind is not good.

Further, we have very high amounts of preservatives, refined flour, oil and cheese. All of these are heavy and cause immense pressure on the body.

SALT

Salt is the biggest culprit. Everything we eat has natural salt. All junk food, fried, packaged and hidden food has a lot of salt. Even so called health food and salads from outside have a lot of salt. It is estimated that without realising, we consume three to four times the maximum recommended sodium intake.

ALCOHOL

Alcohol consumption is considered to be normal and on the rise. Apart from its properties which cause fat retention, diabetes, liver and cardiac problems, alcohol consumption also increases blood pressure.

TOBACCO

Use of any kind of tobacco products; whether cigarettes, cigars, beedis or chewable tobacco and snuff, all cause high blood pressure.

COFFEE

Coffee consumption is increasing rapidly across the world. Coffee is a slow and silent killer. In fact, it is as damaging as alcohol and tobacco. It disturbs the body’s metabolism completely and causes high physiological stress. Do not be too surprised if you get hypertension even though you eat well, exercise and are apparently fit. It could be because you have more than two small cups of coffee in a day.

SUPPLEMENTS AND NEUTRACEUTICALS

We have all started consuming supplements, herbs and neutraceuticals without understanding the damage they can do. All of these are medicines and have to be taken under guidance from a doctor or ayurveda doctor. These products cause extra pressure and work load on the heart, increasing blood pressure. One such example is green tea. Even though it is good for health, having a couple of cups in a day is fine. If you start having more than three small cups, it will actually cause the heart to beat faster.

TO SUM UP

The causes of high blood pressure are stress, high levels of competition, lack of exercise, bad eating habits, excess salt retention, emotional problems, obesity, having alcohol, use of tobacco products, coffee, processed and junk food, high intake of salt and sugar and indiscriminate use of supplements.

However, it is not as bleak as it sounds. Blood pressure can be prevented, reduced or managed through healthy eating, sleeping well, relaxation and Yoga. Opt for our yoga for high blood pressure program to keep away and even cure (in many cases) this health challenge. 

EXERCISE AND HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

By Gaurang Chandarana | December 9th, 2014 | LEAVE A COMMENT

One of the fastest growing modern day diseases is high blood pressure. It has been found that even children below the age of thirteen have this problem. In fact, researches have shown that between seven percent to ten percent of children have high blood pressure or, what is known as hypertension. The incidence is much higher in adults and it is estimated that in India, one in three individuals will soon have this problem. Most importantly, a lot of us do not even know that we have it.

We ignore the symptoms only to find out later that it has reached high levels, requiring life long medication. High blood pressure does not start suddenly. Consistent adverse lifestyle or stress builds up slowly. The first signs are unexplained headaches, fatigue, or other symptoms. It first starts in a small way and is borderline in nature. It can remain for anything from between one month to three months. If we understand the causes and tackle them, we can bring it down without medicines. If we do not do anything, it may become persistent and increase some more leading to hypertension which requires medication.

There are various things to do to prevent or control high blood pressure. A focus on diet, stress and a regulated lifestyle are important. However, one of the most important things to do is exercise.

Moderate exercise had been suggested to keep blood pressure away. Mild to moderate exercise is also suggested for persons with high blood pressure to help manage it. But how does walking or moderate exercise help blood pressure management?

When we exercise or move our bodies physically, there is increased muscular activity. This increased activity during exercise requires increased supply of oxygen and glucose. The body provides this by breaking down glucose and fat stores in the body. In addition, we also tend to breathe deeper and faster to increase oxygen supply. When there is an increase of these elements, there is also an increase of waste products and by-products generated in the muscles of the body.

These waste products have to be removed very fast from the muscles. This is achieved through greatly increased blood circulation. What this means is that the heart has to greatly increases its pumping. In such cases, what the heart does is to increase its output from a normal of five litres per minute to as high as thirty five litres per minute (in professional athletes).

As a result, the heart rate shoots up and so does the systolic blood pressure. Post exercise, both of these come down to normal levels. A key measure of good blood pressure and good health is how fast your heart rate and systolic blood pressure come down to normal. The more regularly you exercise, the faster your heart rate and systolic blood pressure come down after physical exercise.

With regular exercise, the muscles of the heart become more elastic and stronger over a period of time resulting in lower resting heart rates. As an example, if previously your resting heart rate was between seventy to ninety beats per minute, with regular exercise it comes down to sixty to eighty beats a minute. For professional athletes and sportspersons, it can be as low as fifty to seventy beats per minute and it can be even lower for practicing yogis.

Therefore, the more regularly you exercise, the heart gets healthier. A Healthy heart has elastic heart muscles and lower resting heart rates. Even when we exercise or get stressed at times, our heart rate will not shoot up very high. It will be much lower than before you were exercising. All this implies lowering of blood pressure.

If you want to prevent these problems, do take up any moderate exercise or sport of your choice on a regular basis. If you already have this challenge then opt for our very effective yoga for high blood pressure program. Yoga can effectively manage and even cure this problem with regular practice and proper lifestyle management.

However blood pressure is not just a factor of physical activity but also of stress and taking some professional diet consultation. We address all these aspects in our wellzee programs. If your pressure is high then you can also take our online stress management program. Start yoga or moderate exercise and change your diet patterns to prevent or cure high blood pressure. 

CONNECTION BETWEEN EMOTIONS AND WEIGHT LOSS

By Gaurang Chandarana | December 2nd, 2014 | LEAVE A COMMENT

There are various things recommended for weight management for adults. Different kinds of diets, fad diets and exercise plans. There are also some good online yoga fitness plans as well. However, we relate weight in isolation, mainly with food and these days with some exercise. However, this is a lot more at play than food habits or exercise. Stress is another element directly linked to weight loss or managing our body’s fat. If you think you have prolonged stress, it may increase your weight gradually. One of the best options to manage stress is to follow our online stress management routine.

In addition to diet, exercise and stress, we need to understand one more aspect; that is, thoughts and emotions. The body is controlled and managed by the nervous system and all its constituents including the brain. There are parts of the system which are in your conscious control and some parts which are involuntary, like the internal organs. Certain organs have to keep functioning and you cannot consciously control them in order for you to live. Examples are the heart, lungs, digestive and other internal organs.

Even though the conscious mind has no direct control, all thoughts and emotions impact the other organs based on the state of the mind. Similarly, the mind has no direct control on the digestive organs as they function involuntarily. But the emotions, desires and appetite center lies in the brain in the hypothalamus. So what is the connection between all of these?

Research has shown that even the involuntary muscles of the digestive system are affected by our emotional state. So our digestion is indirectly and unconsciously controlled by our thoughts and the hypothalamus in the brain. When we are in a certain state of mind or thinking thoughts, some different directions go out to the digestive organs and they start functioning in a different manner. So our style of thinking, negative thoughts, emotions and material cravings, all of them will impact digestion. When digestion is impacted negatively, the net result is always storing more sugar or fat because there is incorrect absorption and assimilation of food.

If you are an emotional person (even though you do not express them), the constant waves of emotions cause the wrong messages to be sent to the digestive organs. Sometimes the coordination between these organs and the brain gets impaired. That is the reason why we sometimes intensely crave food even though we are full. We crave for certain kinds of tastes or food.

All of this internal conflict and emotional tension causes gastric troubles and gradually impacts the digestive processes. These problems (sometimes you are not even aware of reduced digestive capacity) lead to weight management problems and other health issues. In addition, the internal system starts getting stressed and causes stress hormones to be released when not required. This is not good for the body.

A combination of emotions, anxiety, stress and an a faulty digestive system gives rise to internal stress and also impacts the endocrine functions, circulatory systems and the heart. The net result is putting on fat or unhealthy weight. This is gradually followed by lifestyle diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiac problems, ulcers, sexual impairment and even some forms of cancer.

The more emotional you are, the less healthy you may become. The idea is to not suppress your emotions but learn to control them and gradually sublimate them. That is why it is said that one must eat joyfully at the same times, sitting quietly. Try and eat alone without talking, working, watching television or fiddling with your smartphone.

The solution is to learn to control and manage your emotions if you want to remain healthy. The only philosophy and discipline which helps in this is Yoga. Yoga helps control these involuntary brain centers. Yoga will also make you more calm and emotionally stable. Additionally it will dramatically improve the digestive systems at the same time. Start one of our online yoga programs to become healthier and reduce weight.