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The Nasty 5 Letter Word that Affects Blood Pressure

O-B-E-S-E - The Nasty 5 Letter Word that Affects Blood Pressure

You're probably used to hearing about nasty 4 letter words, which I won't go into here. My 5 letter word is
O-B-E-S-E. It's a word that makes you picture someone who is, hugely, obscenely fat and lazy.
In many cases, that is not the real scenario of what's going on.

Do You Know Your BMI Number?

Yep – yet another number you might want to know in addition to your blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and weight. I didn't know mine until just now when I was looking it up.

If you don't know what a BMI is, it sounds like one of the words used in the bathroom. But it's not. It's the number showing your body mass index, or in other words it takes your  height and your weight and determines how fat you are.

There's a BMI calculator here for you to use, but as an example, I put in my height, 5'6", and played with the weight number to find the first number that showed up as considered obese. A 5'6" woman who weighs 186 pounds is considered obese at a 30 BMI according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention.)
·         18.5 – 24.9                Normal

·         25.0 – 29.9                Overweight

·         30.0 and above        Obese

The first time I was told I was obese was by a doctor at a well-patient visit in a program my employer had so the employees would have less sick time.

I was mortified when I was told I had become obese, and that was about 50 pounds less than now! All other tests turned out well, but I had entered the 5 letter word category.

I may have been mortified, and I won't say I didn't try to fix it but this is one area I didn't see much success. It's kind of odd because one of my favorite things was to see how sweaty I could get from exercise. Some days I went for runs at 5 in the morning.  I bought a treadmill and actually used it. I had a membership at the gym and used it. Other factors were at work to fight my efforts on weight loss, but at least the other tests such as cholesterol and blood pressure were good at the time.

Stressed Out and Gaining Belly Fat?

A study in the July 15, 2009 issue of American Journal of Epidemiology shows psychological stress as a cause of weight gain if you already have a higher body mass index, especially in women. Also, believe it or not, not eating enough food at the right time can cause you to gain weight. Not getting enough sleep can also cause your body to gain weight. Then there's good old menostop.

Pardon Me While I Take a Moment to Rant about Menopause

Yes, I know officially, it's called  menopause, but in my opinion, peri-menopause should be called just plain menopause; menostop should be when you don't have any more periods. Then after menostop should just be celebrating when any and all symptoms go away! "Menostop – just one of those crazy words Mom made up" is what my kids would say. Ok – enough silliness.

Best Way to Get Rid of Belly Fat

Now, the experts have come out with studies showing that doing interval training is better than long stretches of cardio workouts. It makes sense. Running long distances or for long times is stressful on the body. Think of how out of breath you can get. That triggers the body to start making more cortisol – the stress hormone that also holds onto that horrid belly fat! Aha!

How to Do Interval Training

Warm up for about 15 minutes with walking, or moderate activity.

Interval training is switching back and forth between intense cardio and recovery time, which is done while still moving. You might try 3 minutes of moderately paced walking, biking, or rowing followed by 3 minutes of the same exercise at an intense level of 90 – 95 percent of your maximum heart rate. Then repeat about three or four times, or what is good for you.

It goes without saying, always check with your doctor first.

So a couple of weeks ago, I took the plunge and signed up at the gym again. Yea! One difference this time around is the blood pressure factor: I wanted to see how it actually affected the numbers. Much to my astonishment, each time I work out (I do the interval workouts) my blood pressure goes down about 8 or 9 points.

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P.S.  One of the BEST foods for controlling high blood pressure is BEETS. You may or may not like beets tho, and they sure can be a pain to fix, right? I’ve found the easiest way to eat beets is this way.