Thursday, 2 September 2010
Diets, Blood Pressure and Your Health
I know that you are usually expecting me to talk about hair, however sometimes I feel as though it’s important for me to talk about other life issues as “I am not my hair!” and neither are you!! Our hair has a lot to do with our self confidence as women I feel. As part of our quest to develop our self confidence and acquire a better self image, many women are not a stranger to embarking on a diet, or two or three! I personally have been on several diets over the years in an attempt to get that perfect figure! However, as I have been maturing, I have realised that these diets usually have the adverse effect and usually backfire on us! They only work out as a short term solution!
About 4 years ago, I made the decisions that I no longer wanted to eat meat. I had extensively studied health and fitness both academically (I am a qualified Holistic and Sports Massage Therapist and I can Personal Train) and personally (through research over the internet and reading books etc). I made the conscious decision to cut out meat with the exception of fish as I do understand that you need some protein. However, I do not eat shell fish such as prawns or crab (due to the high levels of mercury they consume but that’s another blog!). I am also lactose intolerant meaning that I do not eat dairy products. I never eat in fast food chains like McDonalds and KFC; I cut that out when I was 15 years old when I found out that McDonalds fry their chips in lard! I don’t know if they still do that? Either way I don’t eat it! As you can see, my diet is quite restricted.
In all of my attempts to stay fit and healthy, one thing that I have never considered was my salt intake and certainly not my blood pressure! As a qualified fitness professional, I am fully aware of the dangers of high blood pressure and if an individual’s blood pressure was too high (hypertension), then immediately I would refer them to a doctor and refuse to train them. This is because a blood pressure of 140/90mmHg is considered to be high and could result in a heart attack or stroke as there is too much strain on your arteries and your heart to circulate your blood around your body.
A normal blood pressure would be around 120/80mmHg. The first or top number is known as your systolic blood pressure (The highest pressure when your heart beats and pushes the blood round your body). The bottom number is your diastolic blood pressure (The lowest pressure when your heart relaxes between beats).
Now the other side to this is having low blood pressure (hypotension). Usually a blood pressure of 90/60mmHg or lower is regarded as low. A person can have a naturally low blood pressure (as I do) or it could be a symptom of another illness such as diabetes. Symptoms of low blood pressure are:
• light-headedness / dizziness
• blurred vision
• general feeling of weakness
• feeling confused
• a temporary loss of consciousness (fainting)
Ignoring these symptoms can be very dangerous as I fainted when I attempted to walk out of a room. Can you imagine what would have happened if I was driving my car! There is treatment in the form of drugs/medication for blood pressure conditions. However, it is generally known that once you begin to take this medication, you do not come off it! This is not something that I would want to happen to me and I am at a point whereby I can change my diet to make sure that I get the right nutrition that I need!
Please do not that this for granted no matter what your age is as I am only in my 20’s and this can affect anyone at any age!
For more information regarding blood pressure and it’s symptoms and effects please click on this link for the blood pressure association: http://www.bpassoc.org.uk/BloodPressureandyou/Yourbody/Lowbloodpressure
Please learn from my mistakes and do not ignore the warning signs if you ever feel faint, weak or dizzy!
Until next time guys!
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