Taking Control of Your Blood Pressure - First Take Control of Your Life
When you come home after work, school or play, like some of us, you may enjoy a couple of beers or cocktails to
help you wind down. But, your doctor has told you that is too much alcohol consumption in one day—so how do
you cut back? One thing you could do: instead of “free pouring” the liquor into the glass, take a measured shot
glass and carefully measure one shot per drink. Eventually, you will get used to measuring your drinks. If you enjoy
two or three cocktails in the evening, cut it back gradually to one. Sip your one drink slowly. Or, after you have
slowly consumed one or two beers, try drinking a glass of water.
Over time, you will have cut back on your alcohol consumption and it won’t seem like a sacrifice.
But now that you have to embark on a high blood pressure treatment plan, it is time you went to the grocery store.
Buy some fruit—even if you do not like fruits or vegetables—surely there is something in the produce department
that captures your attention. Soy, oatmeal, avocados, berries, legumes (kidney and black beans), almonds, walnuts,
spinach, olive oil and salmon are good for your heart and blood pressure and anti-cancer. If you love French fries,
you obviously like potatoes, so buy a few potatoes. When you get home, bake them in an oven and keep them in the
refrigerator so you can grab one to take to work with you. A baked potato, a can of low sodium soup and an apple
make a well-rounded healthy meal that don’t cost a bundle and they are easy to gather early in the morning on your
way out the door.
You have one of those jobs where you sit all day. When you break for lunch try eating a healthy salad without
mayonnaise or a heavy dressing instead of double patties and cheese on a bun or fries; drink green tea with a slice of
lemon instead of coffee; avoid smoking and second-hand smoke; and go easy on the salt. On your break, take a short
walk around or outside the office instead of snacking or smoking.
Eliminate or reduce the sources of stress in your life. Make a special effort to reduce or eliminate the sources of
stress in your personal, family and work life. Listen and empathize more to your friends and significant other;
changing or compromising your ways a little may go a long way; worry less about your savings by giving up the
daily Starbucks, going to the golf range twice a week instead of everyday, buying generics instead of name brands
and used instead of new whenever you can buy used. You could also try taking less stressful assignments and enlist
the help of others at work.
And exercise whenever you can. The benefits of exercise are cumulative. You can get the same benefit from biking
two hours in a single day as you do two hours over a week. Exercise makes you feel positive, happy and healthy.