Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What's in THE number?

What’s in THE number?
What is BLOOD PRESSURE? What exactly are the numbers given to me after being tested? Why is this so important? More importantly, do you know your numbers?
Blood pressure is the force applied by the circulating blood against the blood vessels. Various factors play a role in increasing and decreasing this pressure. High blood pressure is termed as “the silent killer” so I felt it was extremely important to relay this message, as higher numbers are associated with an increased risk of morbidity.
Once your blood pressure is taken, you are given a “top” and “bottom” number. The top number is your systolic blood pressure. This is the pressure within the blood vessels when your heart is contracting. The bottom number is your diastolic blood pressure. This is the pressure within the blood vessels when your heart relaxes. Both of the numbers are given in millimeters of mercury, which is how the pressure is measured.
Why are these numbers important? In order for blood to circulate and flow to the working muscles, we need to have an appropriate amount of pressure. 120/80 is considered normal, while 140/90 and above is considered hypertensive. If your reading shows only ONE number as hypertensive and one within the normal range, you are still considered hypertensive.
What factors raise blood pressure? An acute response to exercise is an increase in systolic blood pressure. This is due to the working muscles in need of oxygen-rich blood. While working out, refrain from the valsalva maneuver. This is forceful exhalations against a closed airway – nose and mouth. Also during exercise, diastolic blood pressure should not increase! If DBP increases, the heart is not relaxing and exercise should be terminated.
An individual’s lifestyle of being sedentary and obese can increase blood pressure as well. Everyone should be active on a daily basis and eat a clean and low-sodium diet (unless otherwise prescribed by a doctor). Water follows salt, so if a significant amount of salt is consumed, water is retained, increasing the volume of blood and therefore, increases blood pressure.
Genetics does play a part in high blood pressure, as this is idiopathic.  
Hypertension can also be due to secondary issues, such as poor responses to sodium and fluid intake and endocrine issues, usually due to an abnormality of the adrenal glands.
Untreated hypertension can lead to atherosclerosis, the build-up of plaque along the walls of the blood vessels due to repeated injury. This can also be due to the intake of trans fats and saturated fats that lead to high blood cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia), diabetes, and smoking. This is a vicious cycle that needs to be stopped dead in its tracks! Furthermore, high blood pressure can lead to stroke and end-stage renal disease (kidney failure).

Eat healthy foods

Moral of THIS story:
Eat a healthy, clean, and balanced diet, exercise regularly, and get your blood pressure checked regularly, as well, as there may be NO SIGNS OR SYMPTOMS.

Please contact us with any questions, comments, or concerns.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Sip for Success

Have you ever felt the hesitation of starting new goals because of fear of failure?   What ways worked and didn't work for you in the past for achieving major aspirations in your life?
Self-doubt and a fear of failure is a natural feeling. As human beings, we are programmed to focus on the negative or loss, it’s called loss aversion. In order to change this pathway, we have to make a conscious effort to choose another pathway, to look at the positive in every situation and realize it is a learning process.
Every circumstance is a chance for us to practice being the person we truly want to be.
To achieve goals, we must be passionate about them and make an emotional connection. A good friend of mine used to be obese. She decided to change her life the moment she had to ask for a seatbelt extender on an airplane. Imagine the emotions she went through at this very moment? This will forever be imbedded in her mind as the shifting point in her life.
A few things to think about while setting goals or choosing a new pathway in life:
·         What are your core values? Write a list. What do YOU stand for? What is YOUR brand? If you have no idea, your friends, family, and peers will tell you.
·         Where do you see yourself in 6 months, 1 year, 10 years? Visualizing us as if we can see in to the future, is one way to help us succeed on this journey. What will YOU do every day to take you closer to that image in your mind’s eye?
·         Is there a higher purpose for accomplishing those goals? Do you want to look and feel better for YOURSELF? Do you want to progress in life to be the best person you can be? Do you want to cherish the body that God gave you because it is His and not yours? Do you want to be healthier inside and out because your kids need a great role model and you want to live a long life FOR your kids?
·         What will you learn on this journey? Yes, we want the prize, but what will the “destination” bring in regards to the “journey”?
·         Realize that no excuse is relevant. There is a solution for every excuse. My best friend is in the hospital after a traumatic accident – many surgeries and will have to learn to walk again. She is already planning her next marathon!
Answer these questions, write them down, and find out why you want the goals you want and the life you dream of.
“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” - Napoleon Hill
Here is how to make an immediate emotional connection to those goals:
1.        Take a piece of paper, on the front and back, write the date you plan on completing this goal, set of goals, or see yourself.

2.       On the front, write as if you had accomplished every one of those. How do you feel? How do your family and friends feel? What did you learn? What momentum have you created for yourself?

3.       On the back, write as if you did not accomplish those goals or lifestyle. How do you feel? How do your friends and family feel? Why did the goals or lifestyle not get accomplished? Who did you let down?

·         Just as a side note, the first time I did this, I broke out into tears. This immediately made the emotional connection and I will never forget it. As another side note, I am living what I wrote on the front.
Sharing your responses to the questions and the exercise above, as well as your goals, holds you accountable by others.  This also aids in the success of accomplishing everything you ever wanted. Now, step out, take a leap and your net will appear!