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.


Vincent said...

obviously this is new to you, the high blood pressure, but have you had it tested in the past and was always normal, and then all of a sudden its jumped up? Or did you simply not know it before?

My BP is normal currently, with no real change in lifestyle, can BP change that drastically?

And dark chocolate! YUM!

FLYERS26 said...

Good luck with the BP!
I'm sure you can get it under control without meds.

Vava said...

Get on that dark chocolate thing! What an awesomely tasty way to get that blood pressure under control!

Pat said...

take care of yourself. I would ask myself if this was a change or if it was always high.

And I agree, dark chocolate is a wonderful way to get healthy.

Run For Life said...

Oh man, I hope the bp gets lower soon. Definitely see your doctor since you might have an infection or something making it high that you're unaware of. Sounds like Lani has a good game plan and yay for more running/exercising!!

Atrusni said...

Good luck, thanks for commenting on my blog!!. It is just very weird that stuff like that happens to the people that you just do not think may have that kind of issues.

Try doing some other sports to break the monotony of always running. Try some soccer, that way you get into the sun and get some exercise!!

The other sport that I like a lot and I start practicing when I start to get bored with running is racquetball.

Well, hope you feel better, good luck!!

Ted said...

The game plan sounds good. It is good idea to engage in this plan in an attempt to get the blood pressure under control. You can do it. My secret... go to bed early. It helps! You will get plenty of Vitamin D this summer in Phoenix! (maybe overdose will be an issue this summer.) Good Luck and you will be fine.

Brianna said...

With the approaching arrival of the baby, I'm sure your BP is higher than normal. Is it also genetic for you?

I know JUST how life can be - because I believe I owe you a book. That might add some inspiration for you to get back out there and run! :)

Best wishes for a smooth delivery for your wife! I bet you are looking forward to meeting that new little person.

Shilingi-Moja said...

Some of the same thoughts:

• Was this a one-time spike or a normal situation? The BP monitor should help you determine that.

• Genetic -- do parents or siblings have high BP?

• When I read Lani's first couple of plans I thought, I wonder if he's getting enough sleep? Sure enough. (Now, this is the pot calling the kettle black -- I'm beginning to suspect that less than desirable sleep has contributed to my own weight gain and somewhat slower running.)

I hope your planned solutions work.