The rise of obesity coupled with our high stress yet sedentary lifestyle has turned high blood pressure into a serious issue for a great many people, but you can enjoy life and still lower your blood pressure. Face it, the sweeping diet, exercise, water, stress reduction plans just don't work. It's too much change which nobody likes. You can still have a life and make lots of small changes which will help you to stick with the plan.
Things You'll Need
- A sense of humor
- A little common sense
- A little time
- Almost no trouble
Change your diet is the first war cry on the way to emerging victorious in the war on high blood pressure. Little steps here mean a lot over the long haul. First, eat your oatmeal. It's a tasty, healthy way to help lower your BP. Add fruit and a little sweetener or honey. There are side effects, though. You'll feel full all morning long without eating too much and if you have any tummy problems, oatmeal is very healing to the GI tract. Not too scary so far, huh?
Drink two to three glasses of low fat milk a day. Your body needs calcium to keep strong and it also helps to lower that pressure. Hate milk? Eat it with Cheerios (also heart healthy), pour it over your oatmeal, add carob (chocolate alternative that's quite good in milk). You can also pour some on strawberries--yum or blueberries, dewberries or whatever berries. Peaches work well, too. The side effects here include the dreaded blue black tongue, itsy seeds between your teeth, and cobbler breath--but the pluses outweigh these, right? The calcium may make you less apt to get up and down and check things out during the night, too.
Take a multivitamin--any general one will do. Also take either fish oil pills or flax seed oil pills (which cost much less but are a little bigger to swallow) Drink lots of good clean water which your body desperately needs a small pond full of each day. It helps your overall health, blood volume and, thus, your blood pressure. Side effects include learning to swallow really big things (in case you don't have time or enough teeth (because you didn't drink your milk as in step 2)to really chew things one day). You may also have to potty more often and you may experience greater overall regularity.(I know, I know, no one wants to be just regular but, again, it's a small price...
Exercise--just a little bit will help and I promise not to hurt you too much. When you go to the store, to work, to anywhere at all park far away from the building. When you go to the mailbox at home, walk really fast both ways. Get used to walking and it'll hurt less in time. Side effects include losing some of your spare tire (sorry), having a little more energy and sleeping better.
Reduce your fat intake...just a little at a time. Try some fat free salad dressings - ask for them in fast food joints (where you only really eat the salad anyway, right?)Try the vinagrettes made with balsamic vinegar. Try a yummy salsa (I just had one with cherries that was amazing)instead of onion dip. Try the baked crackers or chips or, even better, pretzels. Fresh veggies dipped in low fat ranch style dressing is great! Warning: You may develop a little wiggle to your nose from all the green stuff. Don't take this to mean that you are now bewitched and can effect changes in blood pressure with your nose...
Don't take my sugar...please!!!That is our battle cry but wait, there's some stuff out there that's pretty good. Fat free, sugar free pudding isn't half bad nor is the gelatin snack. Try fat free whipped dairy topping on them - it's not homemade whipped cream but neither is the whipped dairy topping to begin with. The fat free tastes about the same to me. Ice milk leave you cold? Try sherbet or Italian ice. Read the boxes (I promised myself I wouldn't say that but it had to be done) as some diet or low fat foods are higher in stuff than the non diet ones. Go figure.
Take your vitamins and fish oil. Eat your oatmeal and cheerios. Drink your low fat milk. Be kind to the earth and eat green. Move a little now and then. Walk - it's kind of like sitting but your legs bend and move some. Have a little red wine (good for your blood)and relax (try this you'll like it). Sleep enough - do what you're doing now but a little more of it. Laugh (more healing than all of the above). Love - still low fat, low calorie. Live-a little longer!!! And if all else fails, eat an apple a day. It won't change your blood pressure a whit but you'll make lots of noise when you eat and annoy people...