February 14th is probably the sweetest day of the year—and we’re not only talking about sugary candy hearts and boxes full of chocolate truffles. Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate all kinds of love and appreciation with friends and family. Sending Love to that special person who has forever captured MY heart.
There are many people such as our armed forces for example who for one reason or another are unable to be with their one true love. May you soon be with those you love in health and joy.
Fun History of Valentine’s Day:
- Alexander Graham Bell applied for his patent on the telephone on February 14th, 1876.
- Cupid, the little cherub that shoots love arrows on Valentine’s Day, is the son of the Roman god of love and beauty, Venus (whose favorites flower was a red rose).
- England’s King Henry VIII declared February 14th an official holiday in 1537.
- In the 1800s, chocolate was considered a cure to calm medical patients’ pining for lost love.
- To find their Valentine during the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl and wore the name on their sleeves for one week, coining the expression “wear your heart on your sleeve.”
Traditions Around the World:
- The U.S., Canada, Mexico, France, Australia, and the U.K. are the only countries that celebrate Valentine’s Day.
- In the Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet takes place, about 1,000 letters arrive every Valentine’s Day addressed to Juliet.
- Teachers will receive the most Valentine’s Day cards every year. Next comes children, mothers, wives, and significant others.
- About 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year. Only Christmas tops that number.
- About 3 per cent of pet owners will give Valentine’s Day gifts to their pets.
- Richard Cadbury made the first box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day in the late 1800s.
- 12.8 million stems of roses, making more than one million bouquets of a dozen, were produced in Canada in 2009.
Some healthy Tips for Lowering Blood Pressure:
Before resorting to medication here are some simple tips for lowering blood pressure. Lifestyle changes are largest most effective way to lower blood pressure along with helping many other health problems.
1. Lose Weight
Blood pressure often increases as weight increases. Being overweight also can cause disrupted breathing while you sleep (sleep apnea), which further raises your blood pressure.
Weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for controlling blood pressure. Losing just 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) can help reduce your blood pressure.
Besides shedding pounds, you generally should also keep an eye on your waistline. Carrying too much weight around your waist can put you at greater risk of high blood pressure.
- Men are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 40 inches (102 centimeters).
- Women are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 35 inches (89 centimeters).
These numbers vary among ethnic groups. Ask Dr. Shapero about a healthy waist measurement for you.
2. Exercise Regularly
Regular physical activity — at least 30 minutes most days of the week — can lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). It’s important to be consistent because if you stop exercising, your blood pressure can rise again.
If you have slightly high blood pressure (prehypertension), exercise can help you avoid developing full-blown hypertension. If you already have hypertension, regular physical activity can bring your blood pressure down to safer levels.
The best types of exercise for lowering blood pressure include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing. Strength training also can help reduce blood pressure. Talk to Dr. Shapero about developing an exercise program.
3. Eat Healthy
Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure by up to 14 mm Hg. If you are not sure of what changes to make or where to start Dr. Shapero can help tailor a plan that is right for you.
4. Reduce Salty Foods
Even a small reduction in the sodium in your diet can reduce blood pressure by 2 to 8 mm Hg.
The effect of sodium intake on blood pressure varies among groups of people. In general, limit sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day or less. However, a lower sodium intake — 1,500 mg a day or less — is appropriate for people with greater salt sensitivity, including:
- Anyone age 51 or older
- Anyone diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease
To decrease sodium in your diet, consider these tips:
- Read food labels. If possible, choose low-sodium alternatives of the foods and beverages you normally buy.
- Eat fewer processed foods. Only a small amount of sodium occurs naturally in foods. Most sodium is added during processing.
- Don’t add salt. Just 1 level teaspoon of salt has 2,300 mg of sodium. Use herbs or spices to add flavor to your food.
- Ease into it. If you don’t feel you can drastically reduce the sodium in your diet suddenly, cut back gradually. Your palate will adjust over time.
5. Alcohol in Moderation
Alcohol can be both good and bad for your health. In small amounts, it can potentially lower your blood pressure by 2 to 4 mm Hg.
But that protective effect is lost if you drink too much alcohol — generally more than one drink a day for women and for men older than age 65, or more than two a day for men age 65 and younger. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.
Drinking more than moderate amounts of alcohol can actually raise blood pressure by several points. It can also reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.
6. Quit Smoking
Each cigarette you smoke increases your blood pressure for many minutes after you finish. Quitting smoking helps your blood pressure return to normal. People who quit smoking, regardless of age, have substantial increases in life expectancy.
7. Cut Back on Caffeine
The role caffeine plays in blood pressure is still debated. Caffeine can raise blood pressure by as much as 10 mm Hg in people who rarely consume it, but there is often little to no strong effect on blood pressure in habitual coffee drinkers. Which is thought to be due to the taxing effect on the adrenal glands.
Although the effects of chronic caffeine ingestion on blood pressure aren’t clear, the possibility of a slight increase in blood pressure exists. It also affects other glands adversely.
8. Reduce Your Stress
Chronic stress is an important contributor to high blood pressure. Occasional stress also can contribute to high blood pressure if you react to stress by eating unhealthy food, drinking alcohol or smoking. This area can be an entire article in itself. If you have more stress than you feel your can deal with Dr. Shapero can help you with a customized program to help you manage or eliminate stress that is affecting you.
9. Monitor Your Blood Pressure
If blood pressure is a concern for you, home monitoring can help you keep tabs on your blood pressure, make certain your lifestyle changes are working, and alert you and your doctor to potential health complications. Blood pressure monitors are available widely and without a prescription. Talk to your doctor about home monitoring before you get started.
10. Help Is Here for YOU
Not sure where to start or what the next step is for you? Dr. Shapero is here to help and if you are not sure about taking blood pressure just call our office and Dr. Shapero will reserve a time for you to have it checked for FREE.
Wishing you all a healthy and Joyous Valentine’s Day.
Yours for Better Health, Dr. Shapero
EXPECT MIRACLES – WE DO