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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Hypertension and Fast Food – My Experiment With Blood Pressure Levels

As a massage therapist my schedule can be very crazy as I can burn the oil at both ends of the day. So I decided to specifically monitor both my food and sleep patterns specifically for a recent two week time span.

First, I noticed that that four of seven days I was eating "out" close to two times as day at some fast food restaurants. At the same time my coffee consumption increased by at least two cups.

Next, due to a major change in work schedule I was getting limited sleep many of those nights.

Finally, I got back into a bit of a bad habit of eating junk food, you know things like chips, chocolate bars and pop.

As rule for me, I take my blood pressure at the end of the day and first thing in the morning to see where things are at.

To put it mildly I had quite the scare one night when I took my blood pressure and it was 160/101. I was able to do some breathing exercises and brought it down to 124/84 in a fifteen minute time period.

To add insult to injury I put on close to fifteen pounds of fat in that two week time span. No wonder my blood pressure went up.

The fact that I had worked so hard over the past few years to get my blood pressure under control and blew it in two weeks got me scared, angry and refocused.

So I made some lifestyle changes to lower my blood pressure and control it once again.

I'll be honest, it is simple but not easy. I had to make some lifestyle behavior changes. Here are some of things I did:

1. Replaced some coffee with green tea or water
2. Replaced fast food with home made meals
3. Went to bed earlier
4. Gradually started exercising – light cardio
5. Significantly reduced my salt intake.

I still have the occasional coffee and have the odd night when I get less than a desirable amount of sleep I need. Also I still eat "junk" food from time to time. I am human after all. That being said my blood pressure is in control.

Both you and I know it is easy to get into some poor lifestyle habits; however it is simple but not easy not to change them.

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