It’s 2024 and by now, most people know that having blood pressure problems isn’t good and they should have it checked regularly, especially if they have a family history of heart problems (heart attacks, strokes, etc.).
And I bring this up because this is something my family and I have to deal with.
However, beyond the basics, there’s a lot of incorrect information about the causes of blood pressure problems, including mistakes your own doctor makes.
So today I’ll quickly share 5 of these surprising blood pressure facts with you.
1 — Too LITTLE salt can cause blood pressure problems
Most people know that too much salt is bad, but too little can cause problems as well — especially if you have congestive heart failure.
Your body is made up of saltwater (saline) and so is most of the planet.
Thus, salt is natural and has many benefits. It helps regulate many functions in your body, especially with your muscles (your heart being one of them).
For some people, restricting your salt intake to less than 2000 mg daily can raise your blood pressure.
What you want to do is eliminate or reduce the white table salt and hidden salts found in snack and processed foods, soups, pickles, etc.
If you want to have salt, have natural salts such as Celtic and Himalayan because they contain minerals that help balance the sodium (magnesium, calcium potassium, etc.).
2 — Potassium balances sodium
Speaking of minerals, eating foods high in potassium is good because it balances your sodium intake.
Potassium also helps relax your arterial walls and keeps blood pressure in a healthy range.
Foods such as baked potatoes, coconut water, bananas, squash, and eggplants are high in potassium.
However, if you don’t like eating these foods, simply taking potassium pills will help – it’s easy and convenient.
3 — Many doctors and nurses take inaccurate blood pressure measurements
I remember once a nurse took my blood pressure reading while she was talking to me and I was speaking back to her. My blood pressure reading was still healthy, but NOT accurate.
When taking your blood pressure, you should be relaxed and not talking. Sit up straight in the chair with back support. With both your feet planted on the floor.
Additionally, your blood pressure can vary from your right or left arm. So it’s best to test both arms for an accurate reading.
4 — Low blood pressure isn’t a problem unless you have symptoms
Unless you’re experiencing lightheartedness, dizziness or fatigue, having low blood pressure is fine.
However, having blood pressure problems without symptoms is NOT fine!
That’s why it’s called the “silent killer” because many times you don’t “feel” anything negative, but there’s a lot of strain on your body.
5 — Exercise can increase your blood pressure
Exercise is great and for most of us it helps regulate and normalize our blood pressure. It’s a great stress reliever.
However, if you just jump right into your workout without some warming up, your blood pressure may shoot up.
Or lifting heavy weights, pushing, and straining, can also cause a spike in your blood pressure.
You should always be doing a combination of cardio and weights for total health. Just make sure you warm up and also cool down at the end of your workout.
Having healthy blood pressure is VERY important for your health and longevity, as well as energy levels and the avoidance of heart problems.
However, keep the following in mind.
- Avoid white table salt and hidden salts in pre-packaged foods. Instead, use Celtic and Himalayan salts because they contain minerals to balance the sodium.
- Add in some potassium-rich foods or supplements to balance your sodium and relax your arterial walls.
- Make sure you take accurate blood pressure readings.
- Low blood pressure without symptoms is fine, but NOT blood pressure without symptoms.
- Make sure to warm up and cool down with your workouts to prevent blood pressure spikes.