Exercise. The Best Treatment for Hypertension

Exercise is the best treatment for hypertension. It has none of the side effects of medication and the correct exercise program is as effective as most anti-hypertensive drugs.   I really want you to appreciate what a health problem hypertension is in our society. About a third of Americans have been diagnosed with high blood pressure; yet only half of them are adequately treated.  Despite all our medical advances hypertension is killing us.  And it’s costing us a fortune.  In 2010 alone the cost of high blood pressure will run this country about $76.6 billion.  No wonder our health care budget is in the crapper. To say it is a major public health problem is a gross understatement.

Exercise is key in preventing and treating high blood pressure.

  • Exercise will prevent hypertension in 50% of us.  And that is really significant because once you reach age 55, the chance of you getting high blood pressure is a sky-rocketing 90%.  So if you’re lucky enough to live to age 55, you are pretty much guaranteed that you will be taking blood pressure medication.  Unless you GET MOVING!
  • If you have hypertension, exercise alone will decrease your blood pressure.
  • Exercise lowers blood pressure 2 ways
  • There is an immediate decrease that happens after every exercise session. So daily aerobic (cardio) exercise can prevent the normal and dangerous rise in blood pressure that occurs during daily activity in hypertensives.
  • There are also significant long term benefits from regular exercise, especially when that exercise is coupled with weight loss.

You see, you can only win when you take control of your life and your health.  You have more power than any pill or treatment I could prescribe.

My mission is to decrease the cost of health care in this country – one healthy body at a time.  Shouldn’t you be the first volunteer?


Exercise Is One Of the Best Treatments for Heart Disease

Exercise is one of the most effective treatments for heart disease.  But you know that.  That’s why you call it ‘Cardio’.  The term is short for cardiovascular; the body system that your heart is part of and includes all your arteries and veins as well.  I grew up in the era when we called it Aerobics but that conjures up images of Jane Fonda with puffy hair wearing leg warmers. Fortunately we are much cooler now and have much cooler lingo.  But what is most important is that so many more of us are doing it.

But are you doing the right thing?  Or are you one of the lost souls at the gym hoping that the time you spend on the elliptical machine or treadmill is helping you meet your goals?  If you goal is to prevent that heart attack that your dad just had or prevent heart disease that runs in your family, this blog is for you.

You see I’m a physician who tells her patients every day how important  exercise is for their health.  Some listen but mostly I get blank stares.  Then I realized that none of my patients knew what to do to get started and how to stick with it.  That is where this book comes in.  GET MOVING! Live Better, Live Longer is the step by step guide to exercise effectively and efficiently.   I truly believe people want to be healthier but they don’t really know what to do.  You see, Exercise is Medicine.  It is the only medicine known to prevent and even cure disease and it has no side effects! How cool is that?

Heart disease is the #1 killer is our society.  It also causes significant disability; we have even coined the term cardiac cripple in medicine. They are patients whose heart is so weakened after a heart attack simple things like grocery shopping are almost an impossibility.  And I don’t want you to be one of those.  Exercise is your best medicine to prevent and treat heart disease once you’ve been diagnosed.

The Right Exercise Program will Treat Heart Disease. Just follow these simple steps

  • Before you start your exercise program, get the OK from your doctor
  • While you wait to see him, most of you can start a gentle walking program
  • Plan to gradually work up to 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity exercise 4-5 days a week
  • There are special precautions people with heart disease should take. They are covered in my book
  • Weight lifting is good, if done the right way

Those are your simple steps to treat heart disease with exercise.  GET MOVING! Live Better, Live Longer will give you the details you need to ensure your success. All you need to do is get up off the couch, turn off your computer and go for you a walk. It will be the walk of your lifetime.

Exercise and Wellness Expert Knows We Are All Getting Fatter – And Our Kids Are Paying The Price

Physician and wellness expert Ruth Anderson MD, MS has jumped on the fitness bandwagon with Michelle Obama.  She will be the first one to tell you that exercise is the best medicine to fight obesity and disease. And with this obesity epidemic in America we all have no choice but to set the right example for our children, get up off the couch and go for a walk.

Michelle Obama has the potential to catalyze the nation and combat the scary increase in fatness of our kids. One third of them are fat.  Really fat.  The kids hate it and you as parents hate it.  Now I can’t do what the Obama’s can, but on an individual level, l I can teach you how to take the first baby steps. The good news is that most kids can drop the weight much easier than we can; they have higher metabolisms and are naturally more active than their parents. But there are many steps you can take, as parents, to make the fat loss easier.

  • Set the example. Go for a walk every night. If not for your health then for the health of your children.  Regular exercise with diet changes is the only way to get the pounds off
  • Exercise is the best way to keep the fat from coming back.  Be the model of health and wellness for your kids. They learn by your example.
  • Get the junk food and soda out of the house.  Do it Now.  You don’t need it and neither do they.
  • Get healthy food into your house. The more healthy stuff you have around the more you can train their tastes to enjoy it.  And believe me, when your teens are hungry enough, they will eat it.  And they will actually learn to prefer it.  You can’t expect them to avoid the junk if its sitting in the cupboard.
  • At dinner chat a bit about healthy choices or the health benefits of the foods you are serving.  Boys love to hear how protein will help them build muscle or how green beans and fruit you are serving will keep their complexions clear (OK a bit of a stretch on that one but no harm, no foul).
  • Involve your kids in meal planning.  My teenage son likes to cook (it started as something he and his dad could do together and that is important to him – so get your husbands’ in the kitchen tonight)
  • Make healthy eating fit into your lifestyle.  I can’t cook meals every night.  So Brad and I cook our meals for the week on the  weekend.  He and I eat leftovers all week – it’s the only way to have healthy food available with my busy schedule. I have Brad help make food choices and he has developed a very adventurous palate (hard to believe in the kid who would only eat hot dogs and mac ‘n cheese).

So I can speak from experience, your efforts will all pay off.  Maybe not this year but don’t stop trying, It will work .

Remember, fat kids make fat adults.  And they won’t love you for that.  They will love your quiet gentle support and you teach them how to make healthy choices and watch the fat melt away. You will foster a strong child who has taken charge of their own destiny.

Exercise For Health, Exercise For Wellness

Exercise is the Best Medicine.  That is the new slogan of the American College of Sports Medicine. And they should know.  They are the ones who set the standards for your fitness trainers and the world of exercise science.

I am not stealing their phrase but I am telling you that they are absolutely right.  As a physician who treats patients every day, I know that exercise is their answer. Your doctor will tell you the same thing.  For many diseases exercise works as well as  medications, but without the side effects.

  • Exercise for health because it is the only intervention known to lower your risk of dying.  That means anyone who exercises on a regular basis is less likely to die.  Period.
  • Exercise for wellness because the right exercise program prevents the development of hypertension in over 50% of people.
  • Exercise for health because it is the only intervention (coupled with weight loss) that can cure diabetes
  • Exercise for wellness because it can prevent osteoporosis (brittle bone disease). And no drug can do that.
  • Exercise for health because this is the only life you have (for now) and you are in control of how well you live and how well you die.

GET MOVING! Live Better, Live Longer gives you an easy to follow guide on how to use exercise to prevent or treat the 6 major diseases of our society.  They include heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, chronic low back pain, osteoporosis and arthritis.

I have combined my medical training (double boarded in anesthesiology and pain management)  and masters in exercise physiology with 30 years of teaching exercise and dance to give you this step by step guide to get you started on the right program for you.

My mission is to lower the health care budget – one healthy person at a time. And that first healthy person is you.  As a doctor I recommend that you pick up this book and get started.  We’ll start together.  One baby step at a time.

FYI. If your personal trainer is not certified by the American College of Sports Medicine you might want to ask why.  It is the toughest of all the certifications and the trainers who have earned it have a high enough level of competency to ensure that he/she knows how to work with you both safely and effectively.