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Swimming Lowers Blood Pressure in Older Adults

A recently published study of 43 older men and women shows that swimming a few times a week lowered their systolic blood pressure. On average, systolic readings—the “top” number in a blood pressure reading—were 131 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Three months later, it was 122 mm Hg.Swimming Lowers Blood Pressure in Older Adults

Normal blood pressure is defined as an average reading no higher than 120/80 mm Hg. Readings of 140/90 or higher are considered high blood pressure, and anything in between is considered “pre-hypertension.”

Swimming is often promoted as a good way for older adults to exercise. It also offers them the ability to work their body without harsh impact to their skeletal system.

When the body is submerged in water it automatically becomes lighter. Depending on how much of the body is submerged, the amount of weight the body bears can be reduced by as much as 90 percent.


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The DASH Diet is an Ideal Choice for Diabetics

The DASH diet, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, can be used for patients with high blood pressure and is often recommended for diabetics because of the potential to lower their blood pressure. The diet has been shown to reduce blood pressure in as little as two weeks. Diabetics usually have blood pressure issues and are more prone to complications such as kidney disease. Diabetics are usually put on a blood pressure lowering drug called an ACE inhibitor that has protective properties for the kidneys.

The DASH diet consists of lowering sodium intake to less than 2400 mg per day, eating fresh fruits and vegetables and carbohydrate sources coming from whole grains. It also includes proteins coming from lean meats, fish and chicken, and moderate amounts of fats such as olive oil and nuts. The DASH diet has been endorsed by the American Heart Association, The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and the Mayo Clinic. It also was used to form the new dietary guidelines.
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Your Rx for Success: Make Your Pharmacy Visit More Efficient

Stopping by the pharmacy is usually an inconvenient and time-wasting errand most people don’t look forward to. Long lines and lots of waiting, all surrounded by sick people trying not to get coughed on doesn’t make for a place you want to hang out at for long.

Unfortunately, the pharmacy gets a bad rap. As a pharmacist, I know it’s not just about sick people and picking up your pills. The pharmacy can be a great health resource for you and your family, if you know how to take advantage of it, and how to get in and get out quickly. Here are 10 ways you can make your trip to the pharmacy more efficient.

1. Use the pharmacy services that are available.

If you are sick, the best thing you can do is use the drive-thru or have someone else drop off and pick up your prescription. If you need a refill for a maintenance medication for cholesterol, blood pressure or even birth control, request a fill over the phone or online. Many pharmacies are doing automatic refill by filling prescriptions a few days before you are due for your next refill. This will keep your more compliant and you won’t have to worry about running out of medication. This will save you time and gas as it will hopefully be ready at the time you request.


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Quick but Intense Cardio Sessions Best for Your Heart

Health benefits from exercise don’t have to come from long bouts of cardio at the gym or around your local high school track. A new study involving teens in Scotland has found that short bursts of high-intensity exercise is best for cardiovascular health.

In the study, researchers split kids into two groups: one doing high-intensity workouts, the other moderate intensity. The high-intensity group did a series of 20-meter sprints over 30 seconds, and the kids in the moderate-intensity group ran steadily for 20 minutes.

By the end of the allotted time of seven weeks, both groups showed real improvements in cardiovascular fitness. Their blood pressure, insulin resistance and body composition all improved. However, what set the high-intensity group apart was that they got the aforementioned health benefits by only doing 15 percent of the exercise time done by the kids in the moderate-intensity group.
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Sugary Drinks Linked to Higher Blood Pressure

If you’re someone who indulges in the regular, or even occasional, soda or sugary fruit drink you’ll want to read this. While soda has already been linked to bone loss and is incredibly high in sugar, new research suggests that sugary drinks may also be associated with higher blood pressure levels in adults.

According to research in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association, scientists found that for every extra sugar-sweetened beverage consumed in a day,  study participants on average had significantly higher systolic blood pressure by 1.6 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and diastolic blood pressure by 0.8 mm Hg. This rise in blood pressure remained statistically significant even after adjusting for differences in body mass, researchers said. They also found that those drinking more than one serving per day consumed more calories than those who didn’t — an average of more than 397 calories per day.


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