Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Game Plan

I really haven't been motivated to blog much lately. Maybe it's because I haven't been running very much over the last few months, maybe life has just been too busy, or maybe I've just gotten lazy. I actually think it's a combination of the three. 

I recently discovered that I've got high blood pressure. Like really high blood pressure. Like 170/80 high blood pressure. What's the deal with that? I run (well, not so much at the moment, but still), I eat well, I don't smoke or drink. I'm only 30, and I'm definitely not overweight. Sure work can be stressful at times, but that stressful? I was really caught off guard with this, so Lani and I have been doing some research on natural ways to lower blood pressure because I definitely do not want to be stuck on meds for the rest of my life.

Below is our game plan to get me down to a more healthy level. Lani typed this up and posted it on our family blog the other day, and I thought I'd copy it here (I'm too lazy to go in and edit it to make it sound like I wrote it) and see if anyone has any other helpful ideas or experiences to share. And who knows, maybe this will be helpful to someone else with the same problem. 

1) Get a personal blood pressure monitor.
This wasn't exactly the way he wanted to spend his 30th birthday money, but it just might have to be. I think we'll feel better if we can keep an eye on his levels and see what works to lower them.

2) Increase days of running.
He's actually taken a temporary break from running of late because of issues with his knee, but he's gone back out a few times in the last week and felt good. Based on some internet research, we're thinking that increasing the number of days he exercises and slowly increasing the distance he runs is a good plan.

3) Increase sun exposure.
His vitamin d levels ought to be fine (living in the valley of the sun and all), but it may be that they've gotten low since he's been on a running hiatus and spending more time indoors? Increasing vitamin d levels is supposed to lower blood pressure, so we might as well give it a try, right?

4) Increase consumption of key foods.
We'll be pumping up his intake of oats, raw garlic, dark chocolate, omega-3s,  folic-acid-rich foods, nuts and potassium-rich foods.

5) Early to bed.

Some studies suggest that getting less than 6 hours of sleep a night can lead to high blood pressure. Poor Ax. His BP was probably relatively low before he met me. :-/ I'm a night owl, and I'm always keeping him up too late... i.e. he's always sleep-deprived. He'd probably go to bed by 10:00 every night if I wasn't around. So... he'll be glad to know things are going to change. 

I've also got an appointment with the doctor on the 3rd, so we'll see what happens then (if we're not having a baby at the time, which could really happen any day now). Hopefully, I'll have good news to report.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Bullets: Some running-related, some not

  • It's been almost a month since my last run. The knee is feeling fine, but if it is a stress fracture, I know it's gonna take longer than that to heal. 
  • I was hoping to do a 5k on Saturday as sort of a final race in my 20's. I'm turning 30 next week and therefore changing age divisions. But with this knee of mine, I had to back out.
  • Track season started last week. It's looking like we are going to have a good team. I'm kinda wondering where all these athletic kids came from. Big change from last year. Now, if they can only keep their grades up.
  • If you haven't seen my last post about the film Beyond the Epic Run, check it out and leave a question for Serge in the comments. Also, check out the movie website.
  • This weekend we are participating in an emergency preparedness activity where we don't use any electricity, and make use of the food and water we have stored as a way of seeing how well we could survive in case of an emergency. Should be fun.
  • We've got about one more month until our family grows by 1. Lani is doing well, but is getting a little uncomfortable and achey. We have been busy making preparations for the new arrival and stocking up on diapers. You should see our closet!
  • I'm a big Utah Jazz fan, am thoroughly enjoying their current 10-game winning streak and climb up the rankings. Go Jazz! They're coming to Phoenix in a couple weeks. Can you guess what I want for my birthday?
  • Taking so much time off from running has surprisingly not been too tough to handle. I miss it, and get a little jealous when I see people out running, but it hasn't been nearly as awful as I had expected. I still can't wait to start up again, but I'm definitely going to be careful about it.
  • I hope your running is going well. Sorry I haven't been much of commenter on your blogs, but life and work have been pretty busy lately. I'll try to catch up sometime. Good luck with your training and upcoming races!