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Poor nutrition is a growing problem in the world and is quickly increasing in America. Many people tend to neglect their health and do not realize the lasting effects that it has. However, there are many ways to improve health and overall wellness. Whether it is through exercise, improving diet, or removing stress from daily life, it is crucial that these changes are made. By knowing and maintaining a healthy metabolic measurement, having consistent physical activity, maintaining a healthy diet, and increasing water intake, one could easily improve their health and wellness.
By practicing yoga, increasing fruits and vegetables, and increasing water intake, one can see the improvements in their health and their metabolic measurement, blood pressure.
Blood pressure is the pressure of blood on the walls of a circulating vessel (WebMD, 2018). It is important to know the average blood pressure levels, what numbers are too high, how to maintain a healthy level, and why it is so crucial to one’s health.
When blood pressure levels are too high, it increases the risk of dangerous health problems such as a heart attack or stroke. When the blood pressure levels become too high, there is excess stress on the heart and arteries. This causes the arteries to become less flexible and more likely to form clots (Blood Pressure UK, 2008). According to the American Heart Association, systolic blood pressure shows how much pressure the blood is forcing on the walls of the artery when the heart beats. Diastolic blood pressure is the amount of pressure the blood is forcing on the walls of the artery while the heart is in a resting position in between beats (American Heart Association, 2018).
A normal, healthy blood pressure would be less than 120 over 80 and a dangerous level would be higher than 180 over 120. To obtain a healthy blood pressure, it is important to increase physical activity, have a healthy diet, and lose weight if being overweight is an issue. Also decreasing salt and alcohol intake can greatly change blood pressure levels. It is important to find ways to improve blood pressure and maintain it. By practicing daily routines such as yoga for a physical activity, increasing fruits and vegetables in a healthy, balanced diet, and increasing the amount of water and decreasing the amount of sugary and caffeinated beverages, one would be able to see the drastic change in blood pressure and overall health.
Physical activity is any form of exercise that increases overall health such as running, weight lifting, and yoga. Yoga means union and it can have many different understandings depending on the person. There are different “paths” or types of yoga that have various spiritual meanings (Ananda, 2018). Yoga is a Hindu philosophy that teaches self discovery and allows the body, mind, and soul to connect through spiritual healing. It is often used as a form of meditation and exercise that involves moving into different positions to increase flexibility, improve breathing habits and techniques, and relax the mind and body. The most common yoga poses include the Downward Facing Dog, which stretches the entire body, the Tree, which improves focus and breathing while standing, and Warrior one and two, which builds strength in yoga, the lower body, and core (McGee, 2018). Yoga can be essential in improving blood pressure and overall health due to its ability to improve breathing, flexibility, and reduce stress. It has been shown that slow and controlled breathing, which can be learned through yoga, improves blood pressure levels (Joseph et. al, 2005}. According to Radiance Yoga, yoga is most useful for lowering the diastolic number (Radiance Yoga Studio, 2017). Although practicing yoga and other forms of meditation are known to reduce blood pressure, it is important to take precautions before beginning this activity, especially if the body is not used to it. To avoid any unnecessary injuries, it is important to properly stretch before hand and stay hydrated during the process. Yoga can be incorporated into a daily routine by simply doing poses and stretches in the morning before taking a shower. Also, while reading, studying, or watching television, one can do yoga at the same time, or during commercial breaks, or at the beginning of a new chapter. While this is a great way to maintain a healthy blood pressure, physical activity alone will not solve the problem. Incorporating fruits, vegetables, and more water in a daily diet is crucial to increasing one’s overall health and wellness.
Sustaining a healthy, well balanced diet can be challenging and seemingly impossible to most people. While it can be a hard transition for some, it is imperative that fruits and vegetables are included in an everyday diet. Including leafy greens such as kale and collard greens, bananas, red beets, and berries in one’s diet can make a great impact on their blood pressure and overall health (Ellis and Nall, 2017). According to Choose My Plate, “vegetables provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of [the] body” (Choose My Plate, 2016). Eating more fruits and vegetables not only strengthens the body, but reduces the risk of dangerous and fatal diseases (Choose My Plate, 2016). Potassium, which is found in many fruits and vegetables, is the opposite of salt, which increases the blood pressure (Blood Pressure UK, 2008). According to Blood Pressure UK, fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and this increases energy levels and changes the way the body handles stress (Blood Pressure UK, 2008). There are six basics to adding fruits and vegetables in daily meals. An example would be filling half of the plate with vegetables and fruits. This way, one is still getting enough to fill them up, but it is healthy instead of fatty and sugary foods. Another example would be substituting another vegetable, or adding a fruit, as a side to reduce the amount calories being taken in for a single meal. Also, keeping fruits and veggies in the fridge for a quick meal or snack opposed to fast food allows people to make healthy choices because they already have it. Not everyone can afford to live a perfectly healthy lifestyle, but there are ways to make it happen, even on a budget. If there is ever a sale at the grocery store, stock up ahead of time, but don’t buy more than can be eaten in a reasonable amount of time (Fruits and Veggies More Matter, 2018). Having a healthy diet consisting of many fruits and vegetables will not only improve blood pressure levels, but the overall health of the body.
Drinking water is one of the most natural ways to lower blood pressure and manage its levels. Lack of water negatively affects blood pressure because the body tries to hold liquid by preserving salt (Sinatra, 2018). Water is known to play a major role in maintaining the body’s normal function and improving any health problems. It prevents dehydration, aids in sending oxygen around the entire body, and cleanses the body by removing waste through sweat and urine (McIntosh, 2018). Drinking water daily can increase weight loss, clear acne, and increase energy levels. Water is extremely beneficial because it makes it possible for minerals to travel throughout the body, prevents kidney stones, and expands brain function (Elemental, 2018). While there is no exact amount of water that should be consumed daily, considering that it depends on the environment, one’s current health, and many other factors, it is recommended that men drink at least 3.7 liters and women drink at least 2.7 liters daily (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2017). However, a general amount would be eight glasses daily. There are many simple ways to one’s increase daily water intake such as downloading a reminder app, always carrying a water bottle, and adding fruit to it to give it more flavor. Also, keeping track of the amount water that is being taken in and monitoring the differences in health after can be motivating to continue to have this healthy habit.
Developing and practicing healthy lifestyle skills can greatly improve one’s blood pressure and overall health. By knowing and observing metabolic measurement frequently, participating in a physical activity, incorporating healthier foods in a daily diet, and maintaining a healthy level of water, a noticeable change will take place in one’s average health. Being attentive to blood pressure levels, engaging in activities such as yoga, establishing a stable diet consisting of more fruits and vegetables, and increasing water intake are changes that can beneficially affect overall health and wellness.
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