y What is high blood pressure?
y What causes high blood pressure?
y What does it do to the body?
y Recommendations for lifestyle change
y Tips for healthy eating
What is Blood Pressure?
y The force of blood against the wall of
y Systolic- as the heart beats
y Diastolic - as the heart relaxes
y Normal Blood pressure
(<120 mm Hg and <80 mm Hg)
High Blood Pressure (HBP) Facts
y A consistent blood pressure of 140/90 mm
Hg or higher is considered HIGH.
y An estimated 65 MILLION of adult
Americans over 18 yrs old have it (31%)
y 62% of Americans over 55 yrs of age have it
y At age 55, 9 out of 10 of those with normal BP
will eventually develop HBP
New Category for Blood Pressure
y Between 120/80 and 139/89 mm/Hg
(>140/90 is considered high)
Risk of cv disease starts to rise at blood pressures
over 115/75 mm/Hg and doubles with each increment
of 20/10 mg Hg!
Detection of “the silent killer”
(often there are no symptoms)
y 2 or more readings of 140/90mm Hg or
higher taken on more than one
Tips for assessing an accurate
blood pressure (you don’t
want to be misdiagnosed!)
y Don’t eat, exercise, drink coffee or smoke
cigarettes for 1 hr. before.
y Empty your bladder.
y Sit relaxed for five minutes with back
supported and feet flat on the ground.
y Your arm should be supported and even with
your heart when tested
y Make sure the correct cuff size is used (generally
arm circumference > 13” requires a large cuff)
y Wear short sleeves so your arm is exposed.
Risk Factors for HBP
y Sedentary Lifestyle (couch y Family History
potato) y African-American
y Poor Diet y Some sports/weight
y Aging- vessels lose loss supplements or
elasticity (> 60 yrs age) medications (cold
y Tobacco, alcohol, caffeine medications,
y Obesity/Overweight antihistamines)
y Sleep Apnea
y Oral Contraceptives
y Stress (type “A”
y Male sex
How Does HBP Effect the Body?
y Can cause a break in a weakened blood
vessel which then bleeds in the brain.
y High Blood Pressure (HPB) is a major
risk factor for heart attack.
y HBP is the number one risk factor for
congestive heart failure.
5 millio 550,0
ew ca Heart A
y Kidneys act as filters to rid the body of
y High blood pressure can narrow and
thicken the blood vessels.
y Waste builds up in the blood, can result
in kidney damage.
1 in 9 Americans (20 million) have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
another 20 million are at risk -National Kidney Foundation
y Can eventually cause blood vessels to
break and bleed in the eye.
y Swelling of the optic nerve, retina
y Can result in blurred vision or even
-What can you do to prevent or
reduce high blood pressure?
y Low to moderate intensity
cardiovascular improves blood flow
and keeps vessels elastic and healthy
y Heart becomes a stronger more efficient
late 30 m
most days of t
If you already have HBP, you can
expect an ave. drop of 10 mm Hg
2. Quit Tobacco
y Smoking injures the walls of blood
vessels accelerating hardening of the
y Smokeless tobacco contains high levels
y Both constrict or “squeeze” arteries
3. Decrease your intake of
sodium and increase potassium
y Humans evolved on a low sodium, high
y Today’s modern diet is high in sodium
and low in potassium.
Watch out for Hidden Sodium
AMOUNT OF SODIUM
y 3000 mg Frozen pizza (3 slices)
y 1213 mg Taco Bell Dbl Burrito supreme
y 1500 mg KFC Original recipe
y 1213 mg BK Whopper w/cheese
y 1070 mg McDonald’s Big Mac
y 890 mg 1 can Campbell’s chicken
Check your food labels
<2,300 mg/day is recommended
•5% daily value or less is low
•20% daily value or more is
Eat More Potassium Rich Foods
y Banana y Broccoli
y Tomato y Corn
y Orange juice y Cucumbers
y Spinach y Dates/raisins
y Cantaloupe y Most salt water fish
y Dried beans
y Brussells Sprouts
4. Get 1,000 mg Calcium
Studies indicate low calcium may contribute to high bp
Mgs. of Calcium
y ¾ cup Total Cereal 1,000 mg
y 1 cup skim milk 300
y 1 oz. Swiss cheese 270
y 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt 400
y 3 oz sardines canned 220
y 8 oz orange juice 350
y 3 oz. shrimp, canned 145
5. Try the DASH Diet (Dietary
Approach to Stop Hypertension)
y Diet rich in fruits and vegetables found
effective in clinical study on reducing
high blood pressure
y BP starting dropping within days FOR
those put on a diet low in fat and high
in fruits and veggies (ave 11 systolic
and 5.5 diastolic points)!
y "The beauty of DASH is that it doesn't take a genius
to follow," says Norman Kaplan, a hypertension
expert at the University of Texas Health Sciences
Center in Dallas. "You just cut the fat, double your
fruits and vegetables, and use low-fat dairy
DASH EATING PLAN
y 7-8 daily servings grains & grain products
y 4-5 daily servings of vegetables
y 4-5 daily servings of fruits
y 2-3 daily servings of low fat dairy
y 2 or less daily servings of meat
y 4-5 servings per week of nuts, seeds, beans
y 2-3 daily servings of fats and oils
y 5 servings of sweets weekly
6. Moderate Alcohol Intake (1-2
Alcohol raises blood pressure and can
harm liver, brain, and heart
What counts as a drink?
y 12 oz beer
y 5 oz of wine
y 1.5 oz of 80 proof whiskey
7. Maintain Healthy Weight
y Blood pressure rises as weight rises.
y Obesity is also a risk factor for heart
y Even a 10 lb weight loss can reduce
8. Supplements to AVOID!
y Any supplement advertised to speed up
metabolism, burn fat, or lose weight
should be avoided!
y Some reports of creatine elevating BP
9. Other Treatment
y If Lifestyle Modification is not
working, blood pressure medication
may be needed (i.e. diuretics, beta
blockers, ace inhibitors)
Summary: Tips for lowering
high blood pressure
y Regular cardiovascular exercise is a must!
y Quitting tobacco is also a must!
y Reduce sodium and increase potassium
y Increase your intake of calcium from low-fat sources
y Follow the high fiber DASH Diet (lots of fruit and
y Use alcohol in moderation only.
y If you are overweight, losing fat can help
y Avoid performance-enhancing supplements!
y Take your medication if required!
About Dave Elger
y Dave holds a bachelor’s degree from
the University of Wisconsin-Stevens
Point and a master’s degree from Ball
State University in exercise physiology.
He can be contacted at