Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

    Nia: Thurs at 9 am

    Yin Yoga: Mons at 11:30 am

    Gentle Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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Posts Tagged ‘blood pressure’

Blood Pressure Monitors – It’s All In the Wrist

Posted by terrepruitt on February 25, 2012

Are wrist blood pressure monitors accurate?  I was wondering because my blood pressure seems low when I use my wrist blood pressure monitor.  I know meditative body mind practices like Nia can help keep blood pressure down, but it seems really low.  The first thing I looked at on the internet made me laugh.  The question was, “How accurate are wrist blood pressure monitors? Mine consistently shows a lower blood pressure reading than that taken by my doctor.” And a portion of the answer said, “blood pressure measurements taken at the wrist are usually higher and less accurate than those taken at your upper arm.” 

I often think that blood pressure taken at the doctor’s office is higher just due to the stress of being at the doctor’s office.  Even if you don’t have what they call “white coat syndrome” sometimes the stress of getting to the doctor’s office (maybe there is traffic, or you have had to interrupt your busy life to take time to go to the doctor), the stress of WHY you are at the doctor’s (most of us don’t go to the doctor when we are healthy and feeling fine, so the fact that we are there could be stressful), or the stress of having to wait (often times we don’t get called in by our appointment time, or we do and we are stuck sitting on the table) can be causes for higher blood pressure readings than normal.  I think that a blood pressure reading at home is more accurate because you are IN your life.  You are IN your normal stresses.  That is why I was wondering about the wrist cuffs because I think the situation (home monitor) is more ideal then doctor office monitoring.  But with mine showing lower than I would expect I was wondering.  It isn’t actually LOW, it is just lower than I expect.  Because what I usually do is think, “Oh, I should check my blood pressure.” as I am downstairs so I run upstairs and try to sit and wait before taking it, but I end up pressing the button and just seems lower than I would guess because I was just moving around.

The American Heart Association states:

Blood Pressure
Category

 
Systolic mm Hg (upper #)  
  Diastolic mm Hg
(lower #)
Normal     less than 120 

and

less than 80
Prehypertension      120 – 139

or

80 – 89
High Blood Pressure 
(Hypertension) Stage 1 
 
140 – 159

 
or

 
90 – 99
High Blood Pressure
(Hypertension) Stage 2 
 
160 or higher 

 
or

 
100 or higher

Just like with all information I found conflicting information.  I found information stating that wrist monitors were good and I found information stating they were not accurate.  The main concern regarding accuracy was arm position.  The common statement was that the readings accuracy is affected by the arm position so if the arm was not properly placed the reading could be wrong.  Makes sense, but I was not truly understand why resting one’s left elbow on a table so that the right and monitor were at heart height would be such a challenge to people using a wrist monitor.  I also found information stating that wrist monitors were more expensive than arm cuffs, but then the monitors that I saw being advertised on the internet were less than the cuff ones.  So, again, a lot of conflicting information.  I did see information stating that wrist monitor quality (meaning reading accuracy) had improved a lot  I personally think that cuff blood pressure monitor, the kind where you put your arm in the cuff and secure it around your upper arm, is more accurate.  However, I also believe they are more expensive, so I bought a wrist monitor.

If you are interesting in having a blood pressure monitor at home, I suggest you buy one from a place that allows you to return it.  Then when you go to the doctor take your monitor and take your blood pressure with it to compare to the doctor’s blood pressure monitor.  If it is not accurate then you can return it to where you bought it. 

There is a technique for ensure your arm is in the correct position when using a wrist monitor that could be easier than the elbow-table method.  Cross you arm over your heart, as if you are holding your right shoulder in your left hand.  This ensures no movement and that the monitor is above the heart/level with the heart.  Don’t hold your shoulder just let your fingers rest on the front of your shoulder.  I thought this was an excellent method.

Are you thinking about owning a blood pressure monitor?  Wrist or arm cuff?  Do you already have a blood pressure monitor at home? Wrist or arm cuff?  Do you get a little “white coat syndrome” at the doctor’s office?

Posted in Helpful Hints, Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments »

Resistance Training Benefits

Posted by terrepruitt on November 10, 2009

Resistance Training has many benefits.  I say resistance training because the resistance may be any force the body has to overcome.  It does not have to be weights, it can be bands, springs, or even your own body weight.  In addition to doing something that you like you want to train according to your goals.

Some of the benefits of resistance training:

  • Increase in strength, power, and endurance in the muscles
  • Increase in size of the muscle
  • Increase in lean mass (or maintained lean mass)
  • Increase in the tone of the muscles
  • Increase in metabolism
  • Increase in bone density
  • Increase in energy
  • Improvement in the body’s muscle to fat ratio
  • Improvement in mood
  • Improvement in Insulin Sensitivity

and

  • can assist in lower your resting blood pressure
  • can assist in preventing sarcopenia
  • can assist in lowering your resting heart rate

I met up with a friend today in San Jose at the gym we had a nice workout.  We played with some of the equipment and managed to get a great set of exercises in.  It is nice to be reminded of why resistance training is important.

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »