Sunday, August 1, 2010

Exercise and Hypertension

It seems as though many Americans are living a life that leads to high blood pressure or hypertension. As people age, the situation gets worse. Nearly half of all older Americans have hypertension. This disease makes people five times more prone to strokes, three times more likely to have a heart attack, and two to three times more likely to experience a heart failure.

The problem with this disease is that nearly one third of the folks who have hypertension do not know it because they never feel any direct pain. But overtime the force of that pressure damages the inside surface of your blood vessels.

However, according to experts, hypertension is not predestined. Reducing salt intake, adopting a desirable dietary pattern losing weight and exercising can all help prevent hypertension.

Obviously, quitting bad habits and eating a low fat diet will help, but the most significant part that you can do is to exercise. And just as exercise strengthens and improves limb muscles, it also enhances the health of the heart muscles.

Heart and Exercise

The exercise stimulates the development of new connections between the impaired and the nearly normal blood vessels, so people who exercise had a better blood supply to all the muscle tissue of the heart.

The human heart basically, supply blood to an area of the heart damaged in a “myocardial infarction.” A heart attack is a condition, in which, the myocardium or the heart muscle does not get enough oxygen and other nutrients and so it begins to die.

For this reason and after a series of careful considerations, some researchers have observed that exercise can stimulate the development of these life saving detours in the heart. One study further showed that moderate exercise several times a week is more effective in building up these auxiliary pathways than extremely vigorous exercise done twice as often.

Such information has led some people to think of exercise as a panacea for heart disorders, a fail-safe protection against hypertension or death. That is not so. Even marathon runners that have suffered hypertension, and exercise cannot overcome combination of other risk factor.

What Causes Hypertension?

Sometimes abnormalities of the kidney are responsible. There is also a study wherein the researchers identified more common contributing factors such as heredity, obesity, and lack of physical activity. And so, what can be done to lower blood pressure and avoid the risk of developing hypertension? Again, exercise seems to be just what the doctor might order.

If you think that is what he will do, then, try to contemplate on this list and find some ways how you can incorporate these things into your lifestyle and start to live a life free from the possibilities of developing hypertension. But before you start following the systematic instructions, it would be better to review them first before getting into action.

1. See your doctor

Check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. If you make any significant changes in your level of physical activity — particularly if those changes could make large and sudden demands on your circulatory system — check with your doctors again.

2. Take it slow

Start at a low, comfortable level of exertion and progress gradually. The program is designed in two stages to allow for a progressive increase in activity.

3. Know your limit

Determine your safety limit for exertion. Use some clues such as sleep problems or fatigue the day after a workout to check on whether you are overdoing it. Once identified, stay within it. Over-exercising is both dangerous and unnecessary.

4. Exercise regularly

You need to work out a minimum of three times a week and a maximum of five times a week to get the most benefit. Once you are in peak condition, a single workout a week can maintain the muscular benefits. However, cardiovascular fitness requires more frequent activity.

5. Exercise at a rate within your capacity

The optimum benefits for older exercisers are produced by exercise at 40% to 60% of capacity.

Indeed, weight loss through exercise is an excellent starting point if you wan tot prevent hypertension. Experts say that being overweight is linked to an increased risk of developing hypertension, and losing weight decreases the risk.

Exercise and Cellulite

When Mike turned 65, he was 25 pounds overweight. By strict dieting, he shed the extra pounds, but he lost more weight; he also lost his energy and vitality. He was always exhausted, and his friends, seeing his gaunt, drawn face, worried about his health.

By the time volunteered for a particular fitness program two years later, he had put 25 extra pounds back on. After 6 months of exercise and some willpower at the dinner table, Mike slimmed down again. This time he felt better than he ever had, brimming with energy and glowing with good health.

What made the difference? The first time Mike lost weight; the second time he lost fat. The distinction is important. According to research, a large portion of the weight lost by dieting alone is active tissue, such as muscle and connective tissue, while a smaller fraction is excess fat. Exercise has the opposite effect. It increased his lean body mass and decreased his excess fat.

Same thing goes with cellulite. Most people tend to think that cellulites are only present to people who are obese. That is why they sometimes associate cellulite with fats and obesity.

Actually, even if cellulite refers to the chain of wrinkled “fat cells” and “subcutaneous connective tissues” beneath the layer of the skin, it should never be associated with people who are fat or obese. In fact, there are many people who have cellulite but are not fat at all.

In reality, nobody knows the main reason why some people accumulate cellulite. However, there are some factors that health experts are considering such as the structure of the fat cells or the poison that entered the body. Some experts say it may be caused by some hormonal changes in the body. But none of these things has been proven to cause cellulites.

However, the only main reason why most of the cellulite cases are abundant in women is that the connective tissues of women are more rigid and firm than men. Hence, whenever a woman gets fat, the fatty cells tend to swell and get bigger. It creates a protruding appearance to the skin producing an “orange peel” look.

For this reason, women are more prone to cellulite than men. That is why it is important for women to be more careful on their body as they have higher chances of accumulating cellulite.

Fats and Cellulite

With the many cases of obese people having cellulites in their body, most of them believed that their cellulites are caused by being too fat.

Even though not all those who are obese develop cellulites, being overweight can really trigger the development of cellulites. This is because too much fat under the skin tend to push the connective tissue creating a strain on the skin. Thus, cellulites form.

However, this is still dependent on the structure of the cells. If an individual’s cell structure does not inhibit the tendency to bulge or expand even if fat deposits accumulate, then there will be no cellulites.

So, the most important thing to remember here is to keep those connective tissues firm and strong and avoid accumulating excess fats so as to avoid the development of cellulite.

How? Start an exercise routine program.

Transforming food into fat seems all too easy for most of us. Losing fat is far more difficult, and to accomplish this, we have only three alternatives: (1) decrease food intake and keep activity constant; (2) increase activity and keep food intake constant; or (3) combine both approaches: diet and exercise.

Physical activity can help reverse the results of inactivity. An hour of vigorous exercise burns up 300 to 600 calories. If you also cut 300 to 500 calories from your daily menu, you can also lose weight at the rate of one to two pounds a week.

Without exercise, you would have to eat 500 to 1,000 fewer calories a day to lose the same number of pounds in a week. Exercise is not for everyone who is over-fat, however. The severely obese person should exercise only under medical supervision to prevent strain on the cardiovascular system and connective tissue. And no one should restrict food intake drastically without consulting doctor.

Resorting to this kind of activity will only get the matter worse. Remember what happened to Mike? He thought that when he started dieting, he would eventually lose all the excess fats he has accumulated. The problem is that he lost those connective tissues rather than excess fat.

For people who are prone to cellulites, this will be a greater problem. Losing connective tissues instead of fat by strict dieting can only make the skin more prone to greater problems but the fat cells are still there. That only means that the problem is not solved at all.

Hence, if you wish to loose those cellulites, it would be better to loose those fats first. The idea here is to burn those fats by increasing your metabolism by 7.5% to 28% more than your normal rate.

It is for this reason that exercising is an important factor in losing cellulite. So for a more cellulite free body, always engage in an exercise routine.

Exercise and Arthritis

Your bones hang out in a lot of joints. Knee joints. Hip joints. The joints in your fingers and the joints in your toes.

Wherever bones meet, there is also cartilage, a rubbery, protective layer that ensures your joints bend smoothly and painlessly. But even cartilage cannot do this tremendous job alone. A thin membrane called the “synovium” provides fluid that lubricates the moving parts of the joint. When the cartilage wears out of the synovium becomes inflamed, the result is generally a case of “osteoarthritis” or “rheumatoid arthritis.”

In osteoarthritis, the cartilage can be eroded so much that bone does rub on bone. Thos type of arthritis develops gradually over a lifetime as a simple result of the wear and tear placed on your joints over the years. Very few people escape some degree of osteoarthritis, though the severity varies a great deal.

As a matter of fact, if you are over the age of 50, you are likely to have at least one joint affected by osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis affects men and women equally and is by far the most common type of arthritis, with almost 16 million Americans in the list.

In rheumatoid arthritis, damage to the synovium is at the source of trouble. Doctors and researchers are not absolutely sure what causes it, but most think that rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the immune system actually attacks certain tissues in the body, including those that connect the joints and the synovium.

Rheumatoid arthritis begins with swollen, red, stiff, and painful joints, but it may progress until scar tissue forms in the joint or, in extreme cases, until the bones actually fuse together. Almost 75% of the 2 million people with rheumatoid arthritis in the United States are women. The disease can hit as early as teen years.

Exercising Your Prevention Options

Investing a little time in developing a good weight-bearing low-impact exercise and stretching plan can add up to great results when it comes to staving off arthritis pain. Strong muscles help protect the joints from wear and tear, and the movement keeps joints flexible.

That is why the quest for fitness is at hand, even if you are 50 years and over. However, most Americans over 50 are still right where they always were sitting back and watching others jog by. Most of them contend that that is just for people who have been athletic all their life, or some say exercise is for young people and engaging into exercise will do them more harm than good.

There are still some that insist on excusing their selves in exercise routines because they do not just have time or they have less energy than ever before. These are all lame excuses. Hence, it is time to start to get rid of those pains. Start exercising.

Consequently, preventing arthritis is not an exact science, but physicians have discovered a few ways to lower your risk. Here is how:

1. Do not weight around

The single most important measure anyone can take to prevent osteoarthritis of the knee is to lose weight if they are overweight. Extra weight puts extra stress on your knees. If you are 10 pounds overweight, for example, you put 60 pounds per square inch of extra pressure on your knees every time you take a step. That extra pressure can slowly but surely erode the cartilage in your knees, leading to arthritis.

A study has clearly supported the theory that weight loss weighs in on the side of prevention. In the study, overweight women who lost 11 pounds or more over a 10-year period decreased their risk of developing osteoarthritis of the knee by 50%.

2. Stretch those muscles

Any kind of stretching is good as long as you do not bounce, which can lead to a muscle pull. This is according to some of the professors of clinical medicine in New York City.

Try to hold a slow, steady stretch for 15 to 20 seconds, then relax and repeat. It is best to flex up by stretching before any exercise, especially running and walking. But it is also a good idea to stretch each day. Ask your doctor to teach you stretches that focus on potential arthritis trouble spots, such as the knees or the lower back.

3. Walking is always the best exercise

Take a good long walk at least three times a week or participate in a step-aerobics or low-impact exercise routine maximum results. There is no proof that running is bad for the joints, but remember, it may aggravate an injury if you already have one. Just remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.

The bottom line is that of all the healthful habits, exercise is the most important. This is because people are designed to be active. Hence, it is really important for people to exercise in order to stay healthy and keep those joints free from wear and tear.

Just keep in mind that the unexercised body, even if free from the symptoms of illness or problems like arthritis, is not at its full potential. Hence, start exercising right now!