Is your blood pressure reading greater than 140/90? If it is you have at least stage 1 hypertension and you are probably on blood pressure medication. How happy are you about that?
Having to rely on a pill every day to keep a deadly disease from doing more damage to your body is not the way you imagined your life was going to work out is it? Not only do you need the drug, but sometimes the drug itself makes you sick. High blood pressure medication comes with side effects. But you know that all too well.
Well here’s the surprising news. Actually it’s not surprising at all, it’s always been around but so few people pay attention to it. You can literally drive your blood pressure down by 20 points within 3 weeks. If you are at 140/90 now that means you could be at 110/60 and that is, well that’s below normal.
Can that really happen? It can if you want to make it happen. It requires a change in lifestyle. Not only a change, but a commitment to keep the change as a part of your life. You might find it difficult or inconvenient at first but the alternative is the drugs, side effects and co-payments.
If you can stick it out you are going to be so much happier. You obviously will be healthier and with that health your stress levels will drop, your self confidence will return and you’ll even probably lose a few pounds.
Is it worth a shot?
Here’s what you need to do as a minimum:
Change your diet. Get a copy of the DASH diet which is endorsed by the American Heart Association. This diet was not designed as a weight loss diet but as a “medicine” for high blood pressure. It is rich in fresh foods, cold water fish, poultry, lean white meat and some surprising heart healthy food like dark chocolate and avocados.
You absolutely need to change what you eat. You have to cut the salt and increase potassium. Fast food full of trans fat have to be a thing of the past. Caffeine has to be pared back along with alcohol. DASH will explain how this all will help in fighting the free radicals and oxidation that is going on in your blood vessels as well as how the food can actually repair some of the damage already done.
Diet alone won’t do it though.
Exercise. Absolutely imperative! Commit to 30 minutes a day doing mild aerobic exercise like cycling or a brisk walk. Trust me, I know how difficult it is to put those sneakers on in the morning, particularly when it’s cold outside. But I also know that once you get your heart rate up and the endorphins start to kick in you’ll enjoy it. I also know that if you don’t exercise you have no chance of significantly reducing your pressure.
Don’t stress. Stress plays a huge contributing role to high blood pressure reading as well as any number of ailments. This is probably the toughest thing to deal with because it is an intellectual and spiritual challenge. Stress is not created by problems at work or a financial situation or trouble with the kids. Stress is created in your brain. Your brain perceives those events as a threat and kicks in the fight or flight response. When this response is left in the “on” position over a prolonged period of time, there are serious health consequences.
Exercise will help burn off stress chemicals. Sleep is nature’s best stress relief system. Friendship is also a big stress reliever. We are social animals and the bigger and stronger your social network is the less stress you’ll have in your life. Lastly are stress reduction techniques like meditation, yoga, binaural tones and deep breathing exercises.
If you have the will to make the changes in all three areas, you can put hypertension out of your life. No more fear, no more drugs, no more feeling lousy. It’s your body and you have the power to heal it if you so desire.