So, your doctor diagnosed with higher than acceptable blood pressure. It wasn’t welcome news, but you’re determined to make something of this situation without resorting to pills.
The first thing you should do with any plan is to consult with your doctor. Only they will know best what you can do to level your flight pattern.
Meanwhile, you can
do your own research so when you talk to said doctor, you have talking points.
Here are five activities that may interest you, but more importantly may help lower your diastolic.
Hear me out, especially the men. This is not “dear diary time.”
The more important facet of journaling is freeing up space in your mind. Nobody else is going to read this stuff. The more incoherent it is, the more likely it reflects the chaos in your mind.
Here’s the thing: You have a head voice and a writing voice. Your head voice is abstract. It’s composed of feelings, rampant thoughts, unresolved conversations, weird dreams, you get the point. Your written voice is concrete.
By writing your thoughts, you commit them to a page or digital page. Once they are down on the paper or screen, your brain is free to let them go.
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When most people think about meditation, they imagine sitting in a funny pose, closing their eyes then transporting to someplace mythical. That’s not mindfulness meditation.
You can sit however you'd like, no funny poses needed. A chair works fine.
In the practice of mindfulness, the goal is not to escape reality but find ways to live with it.
We don’t seek to turn off our emotions but do learn over time how to let them be without consuming us. The idea is, you cannot control your emotions or thoughts. They are natural occurring events.
By focusing on your breath, learning to observe those thoughts or emotions as they rise up, you gain the ability to be the observer, not the participant.
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Listing to gentle or upbeat music can have a similar effect to meditation, as reported by a research study
from the University of Florence. The study focused on classical, Celtic or reggae music, but this would probably work with anything gentle or upbeat.
Unlike mindfulness meditation, music can transport you to other places, memories, and imagined destinations. The net effect of this transportation is your blood pressure drops.
You can combine this one with the next in the list (cardio) but listening to music during meditation may distract you.
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Let’s get this straight right away. You don’t have to climb on the treadmill to have a good cardio program. You could take up playing a sport or go for long walks.
Cardio, short for cardiorespiratory, is the practice of repeatedly using your larger muscles until your heart and lungs engage above their normal capacity.
Over time, this engagement can build the strength of these systems. Your network of blood vessels grow, their efficiency improves, and consequently, your blood pressure lowers.
Consult your doctor if your blood pressure is high, as you may experience increased blood pressure while performing cardio.
That’s a good thing in the long run, but if you are already dangerously high, that can be deadly. You may need to start with low levels of cardio until your system is stronger.
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Yes, when lifting your blood pressure may climb, just like with cardio. For this reason, take the same precautions by speaking to your physician.
For people who simply cannot face a single moment on the treadmill, lifting weights makes a great substitution.
Not only does lifting weights have the ability to lower your blood pressure, in the long run, the fringe benefits are lovely. You'll get stronger, have more endurance, even improve your range of motion and joint pain issues.
Not that vanity should enter into this conversation, but depending on your nutrition, you can also make morphological changes. Who could complain about that?
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Whereas most traditional methods of blood pressure management may have side effects, this list comes with fringe benefits.
Don’t let it surprise you if your doctor has already recommended some of these. Also, understand that she may not agree with these for your treatment.
At the end of the day, your doctor is your best resource for medical advice. This article, while informative, intends to entertain.
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Damon Mitchell is a recovering fitness industry fancy-pants, with twenty plus years of experience. He’s been certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the American Council on Exercise. These days he works as a content creator on health and fitness.
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