10 risk factors you can control!

Happy Wednesday! As we come to the end of May and the end of Blood Pressure Awareness Month, it is time to start putting it all together. You can read all the posts on this topic in the archives. There is a ton of helpful information there. This post may contain affiliate links.

So, what are the 10 risk factors you can control?

  1. Everyone hates it when a medical person says this, but controlling your weight, if you are over weight or obese, is the #1 risk factor you can control to prevent High Blood Pressure. Now, for a small population, due to reasons outside of their control, weight loss may not be a risk factor they can control. BMI, and hip to waist ratio are other tools, besides just a number on a scale that can help you determine your risk.
  2. Reduce your stress levels. If you visited this blog at all in April then you know I talked about Stress reduction. Stress is a huge risk factor for High Blood Pressure and learning to control it is vital. Check the archives to learn about managing Stress. A Health Coach can help you. Check out my 30 day coaching plan. One thing I have discussed recently is that pain is a definite stressor and having adequate pain management is vitally important. Talk to your doctor if you have pain! Come back later this week to read about what annoyed me in the news today on the topic of Stress.
  3. Be Active. Exercise has been proven to help prevent and reduce blood pressure. However, be careful if you are new to exercise or have an underlying illness. I have CKD and recently I have started running. I have also noticed that my blood pressure has creeped up in that time when it was very well managed without medication. My doctor OK’d this increase in intensity, but I have gone back to low impact and the fat burning zone to see if it makes a difference in my blood pressure. I check my blood pressure most days of the week using a manual cuff and stethescope. I keep a log for my doctor to review.
  4. Eat a healthy diet. Now I know there is controversy around what is healthy and what is not. Lower sodium, lower fat and less processed foods I think most could agree would be healthy. Adding fruits and veggies is always going to be healthier than eating fast food, or otherwise less healthy food options.
  5. Eat less salt. This kind of goes with #4. Talk to your doctor but most experts on this topic, if you search it, say 1800 mg per day is all you should be getting for most people. Back in the day when I worked on a Cardiac Unit is was 2000 mg per day. So, it has decreased over the years.
  6. Limit your alcohol. I did a whole post on portion distortion alcohol and I think it is plain that most people do not understand the serving size of alcohol. If you are a man you should not drink more than 2 servings a day, and only 1 serving a day if you are a woman.
  7. Stop smoking. I don’t think that really needs explaining.
  8. Cut back on caffeine. Caffeine is found in coffee, some teas, energy drinks, chocolate and possibly other products I am not aware of. Not everyone is sensitive to caffeine raising their blood pressure, but if you consume a lot of it you might want to consider cutting back.
  9. Monitor your blood pressure. This really isn’t a lifestyle change, but more of a habit you should get into. Even if you are young and healthy regular monitoring of your blood pressure is a good idea. Even if you only have it checked every few months. If you are already at a high risk of getting High Blood Pressure, or already have it, monitoring your blood pressure is vitally important. You may not even know it is high, like for me, because you might have no symptoms. Even the smallest increases in blood pressure can have negative effects on the body, especially if the blood pressure goes unnoticed that it is high.
  10. Find a support team. This should include your doctor, family, friends, a Health Coach. Anyone who can help you adjust your risk factors. It is not easy making lifestyle changes, trust me I know, but doing it can prolong your life, prevent diseases, or complications from diseases.

Disclaimer

Join my mailing list and get a free smoothie recipe, my weekly newsletter which contains all kinds of content and special deals each week.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Add Some Weight, Heft, Pounds

Updated 3/21/2021 Hello, again!  So, here in Florida it got really hot this week.  You can literally sweat just breathing certain parts of the day.  We discovered during the Winter some critter had gone under the house and tore a hole in one of the AC ducts.  I am sure it was an Armadillo.  So, now the AC won’t blow cold air correctly.  So, yep, you guessed it, I am sweating more than on just Sunday, lol.

I have been doing the Fitness Walking videos for quite some time now.  I figured it was time to add some light weights.  Building muscle burns more calories, than just Cardio or Aerobics.  Plus, it tones, builds strong bones, and builds balance and strength.  All good things!  However, I am prone to build bulky muscle, giving the appearance of being bigger, especially in my arms and shoulders.  This happens all the time to me.  Even without weights, my biceps, and shoulders are already firmer, and bigger.  So, I will try light weights with higher reps, hopefully avoiding looking like a linebacker.  Some of that probably has to do with needing to follow a very strict low fat diet, which if you have ever tried a very strict diet, well they fail frequently.  Below I will share links to an easy beginner walking video, and a light weight work out.  I also will be adding Pilates for lower body toning.  I will do the weights, and Pilates every other day.  I hope, unless my muscles are screaming in pain.  The days I work will only be a Fitness Walking video. To start I will use only 3 pounds weight, nothing higher.   If you need a Walking Buddy, check out my Walking Buddy plan, or message me.  I will walk with you, and encourage you.  I got 6 days of workouts in last week, plus my 8,000 steps per day, woot woot! Update: I am now up to 12,500 steps per day at least 5 days a week and most of the time 7. Still tweaking the diet, to get it right.  It is super hard with CKD.   It is hard without CKD, add that in, and it is even harder. Update: I lost 15 pounds on a lower carb diet and was able to maintain it through the holidays. I switched to Carb Cycling and gained 4. So, now I have gone back to what was working. I also got back to stage 2 CKD, one of my main goals. It won’t really be classified as such unless in 6 months I am still Stage 2. But, still an achievement.

Updates: I am now 51 and past Menopause, plus with CKD I worry about my bone health. I spoke with both of my doctors this month, March 2021 and both said the best way to build and maintain strong bones is not by worrying about Calcium intake, but rather to get enough Vitamin D and to add weight bearing exercises at least a couple of times a week. Read my other post on weight bearing exercises and Osteoporosis prevention. So, I have started using hand weights 3 to 5 pounds twice a week. They both said I really don’t need to go any higher than that as it could increase my blood pressure which is never good for CKD. You have to be mindful of these things when you have CKD. I do already take a Vitamin D supplement and I try to get at least 15 minutes of direct sunlight daily. If you would like to prevent Osteoporosis and would like a Health Coach to help you set goals to reach your health goals, use the contact form at the end of this post to email me for more info. You can also check out my Walking Buddy plan below.

You can add weights, pounds, or heft in several ways. You can use dumbbells, water bottles, empty water bottles with sand or pebbles, soup cans, your own body weight, sandbags, or anything that has some kind of weight to it.

Beginner Walking Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njeZ29umqVE

Light Weight Arm Workout Video  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pcaD3wInqM

My latest video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_5C1y74yPM

Updated Walking Buddy Program

It’s A New Day 30 Day Coaching Plan 

Disclaimer

Join my Mailchimp mailing list to get my weekly newsletter with tons of great subscriber only stuff.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.