So you are informed by your doctor that you have high blood pressure. You groan as you think about prescription meds and reduced salt intake. There go the carefree days of late night dancing followed by disco fries at the diner…but wait! No need to mourn over your lost youth just yet. Researchers at the Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan found that laughter and music were just as effective at lowering blood pressure as reducing salt intake or dropping 10 lbs. Other measures shown effective in blood pressure reduction include cardiovascular exercise, stress reduction, getting adequate sleep, light alcohol consumption, consuming 1/2 an ounce of dark chocolate daily, and cutting down on caffeine. So instead of thinking about what you can’t do how anymore how about thinking about what you can? Say no to staying late at work to meet up with your funniest friend. Sip on a caffeine free adult beverage while dancing at your favorite club. Skip the diner (until there is a study that proclaims french fries covered in gravy and cheese as the new super food) in favor of some high quality dark chocolate and a good night’s sleep. Do you see a pattern here? Being healthy does not have to come at the cost of having fun and being happy. Having fun and being happy actually make you healthier.
So as a personal trainer I came up with a new blood pressure lowering routine:
1.) Fill your iPod with your favorite tunes or comedy mp3s, or kill two birds with one stone and download some funny music (The Lonely Island and Tenacious D are a few of my favorite recommendations)
2.) Listen to your ipod as you walk, run, dance, or perform any form of cardio you prefer
3.) Repeat daily