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US stock market daily report (May 02, 2014, Friday)

May 5, 2014, Monday, 04:28 GMT | 23:28 EST | 07:58 IST | 10:28 SGT
Contributed by Millennium Traders

Trading in any financial market - stocks, futures, forex, options - is stressful. Whether you are a day trader, investor, broker or a high frequency trader - the stress from the trading action will affect your blood pressure. Everyone involved in the financial markets understands the importance of focusing on any position before, during and after a trade to maintain a healthy trading account. What many traders fail to remember is that, to maintain the safety of your health, monitoring ones blood pressure on a regular basis can mean the difference between life and death. Yeah, high blood pressure is that serious but, it is treatable. Once you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, it will stay with you, for life.

High blood pressure or hypertension is known as the 'silent killer' because it generally has no symptoms until it causes damage to the body. High blood pressure is dangerous because it increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure and death. The higher the blood pressure, the greater the risk of stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure and yes, even death.

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing from the heart to all parts of the body inside blood vessels known as arteries. Blood pressure is made up of two numbers: systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure is the 'top' number that measures the pressure while the heart is pumping blood out and should be less than 120 to be considered in normal range. Diastolic blood pressure is the 'bottom' number that measures the pressure while the heart is filling up with blood as it gets ready to pump again and should be less than 80 to be considered in normal range.

Blood pressure can be elevated due to blood volume that is too high or blood vessels are too narrow. In addition to high blood pressure medication, you can work towards reducing blood pressure by quitting smoking, losing weight, reducing stress, limiting salt intake and exercising. A lifestyle change can too, help to reduce high blood pressure. As we age, hypertension tends to worsen.

I - like one in three adults in the United States - have high blood pressure which resulted in my having a heart attack over ten years ago. I, like millions of Americans, rely on high blood pressure medication on a daily basis. I carry extra high blood pressure medication with me, no matter where I go because my heart lets me know when its time to take the next dose - in the unlikely event that I forget. Those diagnosed with high blood pressure have a daunting task to focus on controlling it, every day, for the rest of their lives.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved many medications to treat high blood pressure, including:

Diuretics, or 'water pills' which help the kidneys flush extra water and salt from your body and decrease blood volume.

Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), reduce blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels.

Beta blockers cause the heart to beat with less force.

Drugs that directly relax the blood vessels that include calcium channel blockers (CCBs) and other direct dilators or relaxers of blood vessels.

Alpha blockers reduce nerve impulses that tighten blood vessels.

Nervous system inhibitors control nerve impulses from the brain to relax blood vessels.

Just like traders won't overlook important factors of their trading strategy, their stop loss or their trading discipline for example - you should never overlook the importance of your health, when it comes to high blood pressure.

Traders in the financial markets can help to control stress on their hearts by developing a trading strategy and sticking with it. Make your trading strategy sacred and do not steer from it. Set realistic goals when trading for both profits and maximum losses on a daily basis. Unrealistic goals will not only endanger your trading account, but also puts your life at risk. Know when you plan to trade - your trading schedule. Over trading will increase your stress and put your life - and your trading account - at risk.

When you are feeling uptight or stressed out while trading, walk away from your trading platform. Get some fresh air. Find something relaxing to do to reduce your trading stress levels which can not only save your trading capital but also, could end up saving your life.