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Sheltering Arms Blog

The heart and brain connection

Posted on: January 31, 2018 by Robert Moss

The one factor that is the strongest indicator of brain health is high blood pressure and it the most significant risk factor for stroke. So, taking care of your heart helps your brain and reduces the risk of stroke.

There are several reasons why blood pressure may be consistently high, and most notably these include lifestyle factors with diet, exercise (too much, or lack of), and stress being the most common causes. Although the most common course of treatment today for high blood pressure is to begin medication, there are several other options. There are plenty of preventative measures that you can easily put in place that support your body’s healthy response to optimal blood flow and naturally lower blood pressure.

5 Supportive Remedies for High Blood Pressure
1. Know your numbers. Home heart rate monitors are inexpensive. Always take your blood pressure in a calm environment, when you feel safe and relaxed. This will give you a more consistent and reliable reading.

2. Drink PLENTY of water. With increased water, this increases blood pressure because there is an increase in blood volume. When you do not drink adequate water every day, this is a chronic reaction that causes blood pressure to remain steadily elevated in order to offset the effects of dehydration.

3. Exercise (moderately) for 30 minutes daily (even a brisk walk is helpful!). With moderate exercise, the body develops a resistance and ability to more sustainably respond to the effects of other stressors that may arise.

4. Pin-point your stressors in life and reduce them: Consistent, chronic stress is one of the leading causes of high blood pressure. Period. Stress increases blood pressure, heart rate, respiration…then downstream stress creates sleep disorders, headaches, mood fluctuations. Our tendencies to adapt to these stressors may turn out to be self-destructive long term, physiologically. The more you can reduce your stress, the healthier your physiological responses will become over time – including blood pressure.

5. Decrease processed sugar intake and definitely stop smoking. These both dramatically strain the arterioles, damaging the endothelial (protective) layer of our arteries and decreases protection from pressure problems and atherosclerosis changes.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. Stroke ranks fifth, and it is also a leading cause of severe, long-term disability. How will you change your lifestyle to reduce your risk of heart disease and/or stroke?