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Lower Blood Pressure

Lower Blood Pressure
Pat Dickson - Thu Aug 15, 2013 @ 12:44PM
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I keep my blood pressure low through diet, exercise and meditation.

My current reading is around 125/70, which is pretty good for me, especially because my body weight of 230 pounds is a bit too much, granted my body fat is currently less than 16%. My BMI is very bad, but from all I've read on the subject, my body fat % isn't terrible for my age. I'm 44.

The explanation, or excuse I provide for my high BMI, is that I have more than an average amount of muscle. But whether or not this is my own hubris, the good news is that if I do everything right, I can be a little on the fat side (or at a high BMI) and still not have high blood pressure. Nevertheless, I am losing weight! I swear it!

When I don't do everything right, which requires my eating right, exercising daily, and going on meditative walks, my blood pressure skyrockets.

It can hit 150/90 if I'm not actively doing all three of these things. If I exercise and go on meditative walks, but eat poorly, my BP is up. If I eat right and exercise but don't go on meditation walks, my blood pressure is high. 

However, I'm only saying that MY blood pressure is kept low when I do three things simultaneously. This may not be the case for you. You might need medication, and if you do what I do you might not be doing the right thing for you. I'm not a doctor. So, please consult a doctor before you try any of my blood pressure remedies.

As a side note, I know when my blood pressure is high. My hamstrings are stiff and I can't easily touch my toes. I'm not sure if stretching my hamstrings lowers my BP. It is just that not being limber is a symptom of my blood pressure being too high. In fact, there has been some research on this subject, suggesting that my anecdotal observation may be more than urban legend, but I can't find a good source to link.

Here are my 3 steps to lower blood pressure:

  1. Eat Right. I advocate My One Meal a Day Diet, but eating right can be something different for everyone. Eating once a day seems to stress my body less, give me energy, improves my strength, reduces my body fat %, and otherwise provides me with a vast number of benefits. In particular, it helps keep my blood pressure down! As a matter of fact, if I eat 3 square meals in one day, my blood pressure goes way up. In my case it doesn't matter so much what I eat as how frequently I eat. However, I know a lot of people that have lowered their blood pressures by doing a lot of different things with their diets. Some lower their salt or sugar intake, some eat more vegetable and less meat. Some swear by throwing out carbohydrates or gluten. The takeaway is that if your blood pressure is high, changing how or what you eat may help.
  2. Exercise. At least five mornings a week, I go to the gym and do what I coined My Best Workout Routine for a Middle Aged Man. This workout essentially entails warming up and warming down on the treadmill by walking a half mile both before and after weight lifting. My weight lifting entails a lot of compound movements and low volume. The idea being that my 44 year old joints, tendons, and ligaments can't take too much, but it is good to subject my body to regular heavy loads. As I've said before, if I don't do all three things: diet, exercise, and meditation, my blood pressure goes way up. So even when I'm eating right and meditating, it isn't enough to keep my BP in a healthy range if I'm not lifting weights. I'm not sure why weight lifting is so intricately tied to my blood pressure, but it may have something to do with the stress I put my circulatory system under by pumping iron. Long story short, it works, regardless of why.
  3. Meditate. I must add meditative walking to my diet and exercise routine to maintain a healthy blood pressure. Once again, I must do all three things, and why they only work synergistically is a mystery to me. They just work. So, I advocate meditation for healthy blood pressure. For me, a meditative state isn't reached by going into a trance in a dark room or saying a mantra, or using techniques advocated by religious gurus. I meditate by walking more than once, for about 8 miles, every week. If I only eat right and go to the gym, my blood pressure rises. I must also go on long walks. Why this is the case I am not 100% certain, but what I do know is that blood pressure is often tied to mental well being and anxiety. I am by nature a pretty anxious person. But I can tell you that I've never had any anxiety left in me after going on an 8-mile meditative walk!

My blood pressure reducing program has a lot of critics. 

Why? Because I have a method for reducing my blood pressure that doesn't cost anything. I don't have to buy any drugs or pay a doctor to prescribe me something. I'm not spending a lot of money on some blood pressure reducing supplements at a nutrition store or with some online store. You may be different than me and require something I'd call a gimmick, but it may work for you. Placebo or not, if it works, it works, right?

I advocate a healthy lifestyle, eating right, exercising, and doing something like meditating to reduce anxiety in order to keep your blood pressure in check. It is a synergistic approach to health which does not require a pill, a priest or guru, or a motivational seminar.

My crazy ideas about how to lower blood pressure may cut into someone's profits!

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