06 May 6 Simple Steps to Lower Your Blood Pressure
(A) resign yourself to staying late to finish or working from home in the evening, or
(B) finish what you can and letting other issues spill over to the next day, or
(C) stress over either A or B?
Most of us choose some form of C and the result is added stress, knowing that there are unresolved issues that need attention. Couple this with the responsibilities you have in your personal life and it is easy to understand, even with the benefit of modern technology, that high blood pressure is still a serious health risk in this country with all the attendant deleterious effects. And, according to the Mayo Clinic, while: “There’s no proof that stress by itself causes long-term high blood pressure. It may be that other behaviors linked to stress — such as overeating, drinking alcohol and poor sleeping habits — cause high blood pressure. However, short-term stress-related spikes in your blood pressure added up over time may put you at risk of developing long-term high blood pressure.”
In fact, you might be surprised to know the following: Rates of high blood pressure have remained fairly steady over the past ten years in every category except one: young adults between the ages of 18 and 39. According to a new report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), increasing numbers of young adults are developing high blood pressure, and more young people than ever are now taking blood pressure medication for the condition (Natural News.com).
Is it a coincidence that the most “plugged in” work group in America is the 18-39 demographic? I think not!
So when stress from work begins to pile up, does it begin to affect other behaviors, such as poor food choices or lack of energy to exercise that can add to high blood pressure? You bet it can!
This is why all of your choices and the manner in which you mange you life, not just your work life contribute to your well being or, conversely, to your exposures to injury and disease.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the three most important things you can do to lower your blood pressure are:
- Eat a healthy diet that is low in salt; low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol; and rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Take a brisk 10-minute walk, 3 times a day, 5 days a week.
- Don’t smoke. If you smoke, quit as soon as possible.
And we would like to add the following:
- Make a realistic plan for your entire day, not just the work part of it. Cramming in exercise as an afterthought, will only add to the likelihood that you won’t exercise. So plan with equal passion and determination, your exercise routine as an integral part of your day.
- Think about what you are going to eat before you eat it! If you show up to work without an eating plan, you are more likely to make poor choices when you are hungry!
- Be pragmatic about managing your time! Don’t fill your schedule with unrealistic time frames and hope that it works out! You might end up disappointing some in the short term, but a healthier and happier you will benefit all over time.
How do you lower your stress? Do you have something in particular that works for you? Share with us in the comments!
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