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Reduce That High Blood Pressure

Published Apr 3, 2010

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Ron Blake

The heart beats faster! The blood vessels constrict even more! The heart, lungs, and brain ache for more help but it isn’t coming fast enough! There is a shudder and then complete blackness! This Edgar Allan Poe moment of chimerical horror describes a massive stroke for someone that suffered one day too many from hypertension. Gather round the campfire and I’ll explain this medical condition, its causes, and preventative measures to avoid it.

Hypertension is high blood pressure and one out of five people in our country are experiencing it. The blood vessels constrict and the heart has to pump harder to get that blood delivered around the body. The heart begins to weaken from overload and the constricted vessels become compromised over time.

Blood pressure changes all the time. It won’t kill you to have high blood pressure once in awhile though. Swerving to avoid the reckless driver on the freeway, climbing five flights of stairs quickly, or being startled by the ghastliness of that first and last time drag queen can all contribute to a spike in blood pressure. Consistently visiting this elevated zone is very much a problem. Many people won’t feel any symptoms from this disease for 10 to 20 years and then it can strike like a thief in the night.

There isn’t a specific cause of hypertension but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lack of culprits calling in and claiming responsibility for this physiological terrorism. Heredity is a card we are dealt at birth and is a frequent contributor to this ugliness. Hypertensive parents bequeath their kids a two times greater likelihood of having this disease than for those kids of parents without hypertension. That really sucks and all you did was be born to the world!

Don’t grab the bottle and give up just yet if you inherited these lousy hand-me-downs from mom and pop. There are plenty of other ways to counteract the ill effects of high blood pressure. Other causes of this nasty medical condition are obesity, stress, smoking, and improper diet and they are all something you can control.

Obese individuals are about twice as likely to be hypertensive as those men and women who are aren’t in that overweight category. I’m no Rhodes Scholar but I think that means if you exercise and stay lean then you decrease your risk. That sounds like something you can control!

Stress can walk you down the aisle and give you away to high blood pressure too. Stop getting angry at all the little problems in the world! A late bill, rush hour traffic, the mother-in-law visit, and the ripped underwear at 6AM aren’t worth your emotional intensity. Relax and take a deep breath when these moments occur. That sounds like something you can control!

Smoking always constricts your blood vessels and raises your blood pressure every time. Cigarettes aren’t cheap and there are smoking cessation programs all over the place. That sounds like something you can control!

Foods with excessive sodium, saturated fat, or cholesterol are all significant donors to the election campaign for hypertension. This candidate for office can’t win without your donations. That sounds like something you can control!

There are also drugs that can be prescribed to aid in your efforts against this evil force.

Don’t be scared by this villain of your vessels! With adherence to these suggestions you may live a healthy life and worry about hypertension (Quoth the raven) nevermore!

This purloined letter was brought to you by that guy who tore up the planks in the house of Usher. That guy is Ron Blake and he can be found descending into the maelstrom at

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Ron Blake is a personal fitness trainer in the Phoenix, AZ metro area, and an author who contributes a regular health and fitness column to newspapers and websites across the country. He has been training individuals and groups for 15 years. Visit his website at

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