“According to aarp.org, nearly half of U.S. adults -over 100 million Americans- have hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, the leading risk factor for heart disease. Approximately 30 million of those Americans have stage 1 hypertension, for which blood pressure-lowering medication is not recommended. If left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to strokes, heart failure, heart attacks and kidney disease, especially among men of color.
Adjustments in lifestyle like reducing sodium (salt) intake, exercising, losing weight, drinking less alcohol and reducing stress are effective ways to control hypertension according to research. Here is a list of additional strategies, but remember that you should never stop taking blood pressure medication without consulting your doctor.
1. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet is the “The blood pressure diet”, similar to the Mediterranean Diet. It emphasizes fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and low sodium and calls for 6-8 servings of grains, 4-5 servings of fruit, 4-5 servings of vegetables, 6 or less 1oz servings of lean meat, poultry or fish, 2-3 servings of low-fat dairy daily. It also recommends 4-5 weekly servings of nuts, beans or seeds. Salt, sugar and fat are allowed sparingly.
2. Tai Chi is a gentle exercise involving slow, flowing movements and deep breathing, which can improve hypertension, relieve stress and even boost brain health.
3. High –intensity breathing using a device that creates resistance when you inhale, like the Power Breathe, can lower blood pressure over time.
4. Taking 8,200 steps every day not only lowers blood pressure, but also helps keep weight under control.
5. Just stretching for 30 minutes, five days a week leads to greater improvements in blood pressure than five days of 30 minute walks. Stretching literally stretches our blood vessels which reduce arterial stiffness, lowering blood pressure. Try stretching the big muscles in your lower body, the hamstrings, quadriceps and calves, for the greatest effect and added flexibility.
If you have had a history of high blood pressure, or are 60 and over, it’s important to check your blood pressure regularly. Automatic home blood pressure devices are a quick and easy way to achieve this or stop into the Wellness Center and we’ll check it for you! “
Wellness Director / Fitness General ManagerMatagorda Wellness & Rehabilitation Center
Healthplex Associates (HPA) consults with hospitals, health systems, foundations, and universities across the United States to create and manage clinically integrated fitness facilities. Healthplex Associates has developed unique programs to ensure the smooth transition from the clinical setting to the wellness center for people who need long term lifestyle management support for optimal health. HPA has achieved national leadership through innovation and our dedication to patients and clients.
Our combined staff has now served over 400 clients ranging from large hospitals to smaller, community based rural hospitals. We work exclusively with organizations ranging from healthcare systems, universities and foundations who are committed to a vision of improving the health and wellness of the community in which they serve.
Healthplex Associates has developed a unique, hands-on style to assisting and advising clients with an approach that stresses partnerships. We provide an array of services in the Medical Wellness Industry. These services include feasibility studies, audits of existing medical fitness centers and management. Fundamentally, we believe that true community health must include fitness/wellness services and because of our deep healthcare background (all of our principals have health care management or clinical backgrounds), our Healthplex team fully understands the client’s mission and the complexity of today’s healthcare environment.
The management team of Healthplex Associates is made up of some of the nation’s most experienced experts in the field of medically based fitness. Few management firms can boast of the experience in health care, clinical services, and operations of medically based fitness centers that HPA possesses.