By the Numbers: feel better, look younger and live longer: Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol at the proper levels.

Author:Oz, Mehmet
Position::A Healthy You
 
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This month we answer your questions about blood pressure and cholesterol, key factors in overall health.

Q: My blood pressure has been a little high-130/80. I want to lower it with diet and exercise. What should I do?

A: Get. your blood pressure down to 115/75, the level at which you'll see the least aging. The ideal blood pressure is 115176, established in. 56 st tidies and 52 countries by studying more than 20 million people. It is the same in New Delhi and Tokyo as in Chicago.

High blood pressure (or hypertension), which has no symptoms, is the amount of force exerted by your blood on the walls of your arteries as it passes through. High blood pressure nicks your arteries, leading to plaques, which are deposits inside the vessels; they can be life-threatening because they block blood flow, break off as blood clots and create aneurysms.

High blood pressure is easily treatable with drugs or lifestyle changes, so everyone should have his or her BP measured. "lo get. the most accurate health feedback, it's best to check your blood pressure during your normal activities in the morning, during the day and at night. If your BP is high at any of those times, take steps to reduce it--and you'll also reduce what we call your "RealAge," how your body is actually aging (not by the calendar).

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At 55 years of age, you are one year older in RealAge for every 5 units above the top ideal HP number and one year older for every 7 units above the ideal bottom number. So drop a 160/90 reading down CO the ideal, and you make your RealAge about 11 years younger; from 130/80 to 115/75 would reduce your RealAge about four years. Here's further motivation: High blood pressure magnifies aging and symptoms associated with diabetes; it also causes kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, memory loss, impotence, hormone-related conditions and skin wrinkles.

Commit to changes in diet and physical activity to get to 115/75. 11 they don't reduce your blood pressure enough, then take one of the many BP-lowering medications. Drugs will provide benefits outweighing their potential side effects. Weight loss will reduce your blood pressure and your risk of cancer and musculoskeletal diseases such as colon cancer and hip osteoarthritis.

We recommend these foods and exercises for getting that ideal BP:

* Follow our Rule of Five. Don't eat foods that list any of these ingredients among the first five on the label:

  1. and 2. Simple sugars and syrups. Among...

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