The fact is that genetic factors play a large role in your susceptibility to developing high blood pressure later in life.
Take for instance my own case. Both my parents were dogged by high blood pressure despite living a relatively healthy lifestyle.Now I struggle with high blood pressure as I age. Surely there is a large genetic factor in that equation.
On the other hand, some people seem genetically immune to high blood pressure. A former girlfriend of mine is one such example.
She used to drink alcohol and smoke tobacco with enthusiasm. She was adverse to exercise and her diet was far from exemplary. On top of that she was often and easily stressed.
Being in her mid-forties, reason would suggest she was a likely candidate for high blood pressure. But oddly enough, she was more concerned about developing too low a blood pressure. Her systolic pressure was often below 100.
The only explanation I can offer for this phenomenon is that she was simply genetically programmed to have low pressure – and no amount of substance abuse, bad diet, or lack of exercise seemed to alter this fact.
Simply put, some of us are genetically programed to be susceptible to high blood pressure. Some of us are not.
Note I wrote ‘susceptible’, not determined.
Having high blood pressure in your family doesn’t mean you have to suffer it too. But it does mean that you will have work a little harder at keeping your blood pressure withing healthy limits.
That certainly applies to me and perhaps to you too. If I lived the lifestyle of my former girlfriend mentioned above my blood pressure would have gone through the ceiling and my cardio-vascular health levels would be seriously compromised.
Today I enjoy blood pressure readings that often fall below the 120/80 benchmark – but it’s not because I’m lucky, or am genetically programmed for low blood pressure, or I take medication daily.
I am genetically susceptible to high blood pressure but I keep it down through exercise, diet and avoiding high levels of stress.
I’m currently staying on my yacht Saint Martin in the West Indies. There are many sailing boats here from all over North America and Europe. Almost without exception everyone gets ashore on their dingies powered by outboard motors.
I row. It´s not that far and it´s great exercise.
I start everyday with a bowl of oatmeal and a banana along with some dietary supplements such as multi-vitamins, calcium and magnesium. It helps keep my body happy and my blood pressure down.
I’ll often do stress-relieving exercises, like 15 minutes of slow breathing in the evening before bed ensuring a good sleep.
Combined and practiced daily this approach keeps my blood pressure healthy and safe – despite my genetic propensity to be hypertensive.
In short, there is a healthy option to hypertension medications and their sometimes not so pleasant side effects.
If I can do it – anyone can .