Vegan Fitness Part I

This is going to be the start of a series of posts about how to improve you general health and fitness. For some people, they think that just because they are vegan and eating right, that they automatically have “immunity” from many of the other health problems that alot of meat eaters have. This couldn’t be further from the truth. While it is true that a vegan shouldn’t have the traditional high cholesterol levels, or fall victim to Type II diabetes, there is the risk that you could fall victim to heart disease or blood pressure issues.

Before we get into talking about exercise and how often we should do it, we will delve a little bit further into the human body. First cab off the rank is Blood Pressure:

According to the Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary (http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/blood%20pressure ) Blood Pressure is: “pressure that is exerted by the blood upon the walls of the blood vessels and especially arteries and that varies with the muscular efficiency of the heart, the blood volume and viscosity, the age and health of the individual, and the state of the vascular wall
Blood pressure is measured with a device that no one can properly pronounce called a “sphygmomanometer”
When measuring blood pressure, two numbers are given as part of the reading, for example it might be 120/80. The top number is the “systolic while the lower number is the “diastolic”
The systolic reading is the pressure in the aorta during the contraction of the heart.
The diastolic reading is the pressure in the heart in between contractions.
Ranges of blood pressure.
As with most things, blood pressure readings have been generalised over the population to fall within the following ranges.
Low: 100/60
Normal: 120/80
Borderline: 140/90
Hypertensive: 160/115

Usually if you have been your blood pressure taken by a Dr. or other health professional and your blood pressure is at the borderline level or higher, there is a good chance that you would be advised to get further tests done. Likewise if your blood pressure is near the low range, you may be subject to further scrutiny. Though if you are very fit you could have low blood pressure, also, those that are tall and of a slim build can also have low blood pressure. For people that are in this group, if you experience any light headedness when standing up on a more often than occasional basis, then you should really consult a heathcare professional.

Also, your body position can have an effect on your blood pressure reading too. Out of 3 separate readings, you blood pressure would be the highest when standing, lower when sitting, and at its lowest when lying down.

A little hint that may also help your blood pressure is to drink enough water. As I am sure you know by now, more than 75% of the human body is water. So it stands to reason that the same can apply for blood. In actual fact it is approx 82%. It also make sense that if you are dehydrated, and not getting enough water out of your diet, that you blood would suffer as well.

In Part II we will discuss heart rate, and how exercise can help it.