What’s one way to lower the number of stressed-out adults who have hypertension? Help teenagers with high blood pressure.
A study of 156 inner-city black adolescents in Augusta, Georgia, with high-normal blood pressure showed that teens who practiced 15 minutes of transcendental meditation (TM) twice daily steadily lowered their daytime blood pressures over 4 months and that their pressures tended to stay lower, said Vernon A. Barnes, PhD, a physiologist at the Medical College of Georgia and the principal author of the paper.
Teens in the study who practiced TM experienced an average drop of 3.5 millimeters in their systolic pressure (the top number, which indicates the pressure inside blood vessels that the heart is pumping against) and a 3.4 millimeter decrease in diastolic pressure (the bottom number, which indicates pressure while the heart is at rest). “[If] your blood pressure comes down a few millimeters when you are young,” Barnes said, “[and] you can maintain that into adulthood, you can significantly reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease.”