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How I managed my high blood pressure

Blood pressure is like trust. It’s silent, vital to good health and if abused, it can be deadly.

Frank K Sonnenberg

High blood pressure or hypertension is a silent killer. It is a major condition that can lead to heart problems and stroke. Ideally, Blood Pressure should be lower than 120/80.

Reasons responsible for High Blood Pressure

Eating too much salt, being overweight, sedentary lifestyle or even taking certain medications can cause high blood pressure as a side effect.

One in 5 Young adults in India have high blood pressure and one in 3 young adults have high blood pressure in the USA.

Even I have faced blood pressure issues. It all started when I began experiencing severe headaches. Initially, I thought that the headache must be due to acidity, so I took fruit salts like ENO but they didn’t seem to work. I went to a nearby clinic to get a check-up. The doctor took my blood pressure as a routine check and it was 145/90. The doctor prescribed some drugs that would help lower my Blood Pressure. I knew that once I start with the medication, I’ll be dependant on them. I consulted my father, who even at the age of 72 is fine and dandy. He gave me a few methods on how to control high blood pressure which I want to share with you.

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Ways to lower high blood pressure levels

  • Increase activity and exercise more

Increasing activity also increases our heart and breathing rates. Over time our heart gets stronger and pumps with less effort. 40 minutes moderate to vigorous physical activity sessions 3 to 4 times per week is required. You don’t have to run a marathon. We can increase our activity in the following ways:

  • Using the stairs instead of a lift where possible
  • Walking to nearby places instead of driving
  • Doing household chores
  • Gardening
  • 10000 steps per day is required.
Brisk walking
Jogging
  • Lose weight

Try to lose weight if you’re overweight. Cut back on sugar and refined carbohydrates.

  • Eat more potassium and less sodium

Increase your potassium intake and cutting back on salt also lower your blood pressure. Potassium lessens the effect of salt in your system.

Diets rich in potassium may be harmful to the kidney, so talk to your doctor before increasing potassium intake. Foods naturally high in potassium are:

Milk, yogurt, fish. Fruits like bananas, apricots, avocados, and oranges.

  • Eat less or no processed food

These foods have extra salt so avoid eating them. Eat home-cooked food.

  • Stop smoking

Smoking causes an immediate but temporary increase in blood pressure and increase in heart rate. Later on, it causes high blood pressure.

  • Mid-day Naps According to cardiologist Dr. Manolis Kallistratos from Greece 30 to 50 minutes mid-day nap lowers your blood pressure to 5mm hg. Friends do not feel guilty if you sleep for 50 minutes in the afternoon.
Power Nap
  • Reduce stress

We are living in a stressful era. Workplace and family demands are now contributing to stress. But we have to find ways to de-stress ourselves which is important for our health and blood pressure. Read a book, watch a comedy show, listen to music or just dance. This will help reduces stress.

  • Yoga and meditation

Yoga and meditation are very helpful in reducing stress. Yoga comprises of breathing control, posture which is very effective in reducing stress and blood pressure.

Camel Pose

If your blood pressure is high put your feet in a bucket half-filled with lukewarm water. After 5 minutes you will be amazed to see that Blood Pressure comes to normal.

  • Lastly, take prescription medication

If your blood pressure is very high or doesn’t decrease even on making these lifestyle changes, take prescribed drugs. Drugs have side effects so lifestyle modifications are the cornerstone for treatment of high blood pressure.

So readers, what are you waiting for? Start becoming active from now. If I can lower my blood pressure you can also. We just need to chalk out a plan and follow it meticulously.

This article is only for informative purposes. This article is not intended to be a medical advise and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor for your medical concerns. Please follow any tip given in this article only after consulting your doctor. 

Hope you will like this post. Please give feedback. Follow my blog. If you like this post share it. Feel free to contact me. Have you ever tried to control your high blood pressure without medication? Share your views in the comments section.

Featured

Let me introduce myself

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

I’m Vibha Pandey, graduated from Kirori Mal College, Delhi University, and an Honours Diploma in System Management from NIIT Delhi. After that, I joined Dabur India as a Systems Analyst. I tied the knot in 1993 and was a mother of two children by 1996. I quit my job to take care of my family. My children have been my career!

I’m happily married for the last 28 years. Being the mom of my two beautiful children is my career. My daughter did her MBBS from AIIMS Bhopal, and my son did his B.Tech from IIT Delhi. My husband is the Director of Operations in a Renowned Company based in Hyderabad.

I ensured that all my family members maintained a healthy lifestyle, even though we have had to live away from each other at various stages of our lives. For our children’s education, I moved to Delhi, away from my husband. After they were admitted into their respective colleges, my children stayed in hostels. Even though people let go of their health when there is no one around, I ensured that everyone maintained a healthy lifestyle. All of our medical parameters are normal, which might be expected for people in my children’s age group, but it is quite rare for my husband’s age group and me.

I have had to struggle a lot to help my children achieve their dreams. I firmly believe that where there is a will, there is a way. I want to share my views with people to learn from my experience. If I can help my children achieve their dream while living in a rural area, anyone can.

I’m super passionate about maintaining good health and helping others achieve it. Besides this I love gardening and interior designing.

I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

If I’m able to change life of even a single person by writing blogs on different topic the I’ll find myself successful.

Follow me on Instagram @vibbsfitness

How this man lost a whopping 17kgs

Just like everyone else, Mohinish Nirwal also struggled with pandemic weight gain. Although he was passionate about his wellness, the lockdowns made it difficult for him to maintain his fitness. He lost his confidence, started self-doubting and the work pressure only made things worse for him. However, slowly he initiated certain changes in his lifestyle and took small steps to get his fitness back on track. He finally lost a whopping 17 kilos in just a year. Here’s a look at how he did!

Lifestyle changes
Table of Contents

    1. The turning point

    During the lockdown, my weight shot up. It took a huge toll on my confidence and self-esteem. I thought I may never gain a fit body as I was flooded with doubts due to my age, work pressure, stress, and lack of cooking skills. Ultimately, I started to take on small challenges, and from there I got the confidence that I can gain a good physique.

    2. Diet

    Breakfast

    1-2 whole eggs, 1 cup of milk with turmeric, 2 slices of bread or 1 roti, and one scoop of whey protein. A banana and salad along with supplements like multivitamins, fish oil, and multi-minerals.

    Lunch

    1 roti, 1 cup vegetable, 1 cup curd (alternate days), 1-2 whole eggs, salad and/or fruits, 5 soaked almonds.

    Dinner

    Half roti, half cup vegetable, 1 whole egg, salad, and/or fruits

    Pre-workout meal

    1 Banana and one egg white.

    Post-workout meal

    One scoop of micellar casein protein (as I workout late) and half a cup of whey protein.

    Cheat days

    Anything that’s cooked at home is okay for me. For example Moong dal chilla, chole bhature, aloo-puri.

    Calories

    Instead of counting calories, I learned intuitive eating and understood my fullness levels. Ultimately, I learned to eat until 80% full. And that turned out to be a blessing for me.

    3. Workout

    During the lockdown, I rediscovered my passion for running and yoga. Once I found my groove, I loved doing 30 minutes of yoga (plus, 10-15 minutes of meditation) at home in the morning and would run about 5 kilometers, 5-6 times a week, in the evening. I loved these sessions and on top of that, I started becoming more active during working hours. For example, instead of continuously sitting for hours I tried to stand more often to enhance my fat burn.

    Fitness secrets

    I had to understand my strengths and weaknesses. Repeated lockdowns proved to me that my stress management and adaptability in life are zero. So I took this as a challenge to improve my life skills and my health.

    30%-50% of my plate is reserved for vegetables (mostly salads) and fruits. This provides nutrients while improving the gut microbiome. And the feeling of fullness afterward is icing on the cake. Most importantly, long-term fitness is about little lifestyle changes. Instead of going with an attitude of “go big or go home”, I preferred to take small steps, and gave myself small rewards so I enjoy my journey also.

    Stay motivated

    I used to read success stories, like in the TOI health section. Then I found people around me who are passionate about fitness. Peer pressure worked in my favor as I was then forced to take some time out for myself. And when I started to see some results I became even more motivated. My pants were becoming loose from the waist, so I started using a belt. Now I could easily sport old t-shirts that were tight earlier.

    Never lose focus

    To stay focused I created a goal card. I wrote down the exact weight I wanted to reach and each morning I’d see it and visualize it. So whenever my goal becomes hazy or I’d start having doubts, I’d just stay loyal with my practice of reading the goal card. Eventually, I went past my goal weight.

    What’s the most difficult part of being overweight?

    Every morning I’d wake up and look at myself in the mirror and I’d hate to look at my big belly and face. As if that wasn’t enough, someone would always comment and advise me on the lessons of health and fitness. This made me feel like I don’t have any control over myself. But the only problem was that I was not able to stick with the lifestyle changes — until I rediscovered my passions and the power of taking small steps toward a big goal.

    Low phase

    A few years ago, I had to undergo knee surgery. Due to this, my weight shot up and my mental health tanked. I was frustrated with myself. The same thing happened during the lockdowns also and I realized this pattern of poor health and poor well-being. I used to think this would never happen to me. But I’d learned my lessons by the third lockdown and started putting my health on priority.

    Lifestyle changes I made?

    The most important lifestyle change for me was plate management. I reserved 30%-40% of my plate for vegetables and fruits. This helped improve my gut microbiome, helped me feel fuller for longer, and provided better nourishment for my body. I had to pre-plan my meals for this.

    Second, I started getting more active during the day to increase NEAT (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis) which helped me burn more fat.

    Third, I started learning ways to manage my stress. I did this with meditation.

    Our goals must be big but our steps small. This ensures that we are constantly moving in the right direction. Weight loss is a long journey. And bad days are part of the cycle.

    But every goal is achievable when you start asking small questions. How can I move one small step towards my goal? And this creates a snowball effect. When you push a little snowball down a hill it’s insignificant. But as it rolls down, it gets bigger. The same thing happens when we take small steps toward our big goals.

    If you have a weight loss story to share, send it to us at cs.vibha@gmail.com

    These views are not generic. Weight loss results vary for individuals and the views shared in this article offers no guarantee of specific results. The content is not intended in any way as a substitute for professional advice.

    Don’t forget to share, like and follow my blog.


    A quick way in making health and fitness a lifestyle 

    Hey, friends, I’m sharing with you a quick way to make your lifestyle healthy which is beneficial for you in long run.

    When you start to view health and fitness as a lifestyle rather than a part-time hobby or a 30-day challenge, you develop behaviors that will improve many areas of your life.

    Table of Contents

      Living a healthy lifestyle can inspire creativity and teach you discipline, adaptability, and balance. It will not only leave you looking and feeling better, but you will show up as a better version of yourself for the people in your life that truly matter.

      A quick way in making health and fitness a lifestyle 

      A quick way in making health and fitness a lifestyle 

      SETTING AN EXAMPLE

      When you choose to live a healthy lifestyle, you not only do yourself a favor, but you set an excellent example for all of those around you. Your friends, family, and children are impacted by the healthy choices you make and will often feel inspired to make a change in their own
      lives.

      The result of this is better relationships, a lower risk of disease, and an overall healthier and happier world. By simply making healthier choices, you can have a rippling impact on all of those around you. Be the person to start the change.

      YOU LEARN THE EXACT BEHAVIOR CHANGE

      I find that “diets” or “workout challenges” unrealistic. We are all
      human. Life happens, stress comes and goes, and schedules can get thrown off. When we choose to live a healthy lifestyle, we learn to accept these things and ADAPT.

      CONSISTENCY

      Consistency is the key to the success of everything whether it is career or lifestyle changes. When the expectations aren’t as intense, you are more likely to stay consistent and enjoy your journey. You don’t put that pressure on yourself to be perfect. If you eat something “bad” or skip a workout, you wake up the next day and get right back on track because now it’s just part of your lifestyle. This approach is much more attainable and leads to more consistency long term.

      Here are a few quick tips to start making health and fitness a lifestyle:

      1. FIND EXERCISE YOU ENJOY

      You are better off finding exercises that make you feel good, and you can stick to long-term, even if it’s not the most intense. Consistent low-intensity exercise will always triumph over inconsistent high-intensity exercise. I love yoga and enjoy the most.

      2. BE PATIENT

      Remember, results take time. Be easy on yourself. Nothing good comes easy. Good results always take time.

      3. DON’T GIVE UP THE FOODS YOU LOVE

      I’m a firm believer in never giving up the foods you love. Find a way to make your favorite foods healthier. If pizza is your favorite food, don’t give it up opt for a healthier version. If you like sweets don’t give up just reduce the quantities.

      4. DON’T COMPARE WITH ANYONE

      This is your life and your journey. No two people are the same, so you should never compare yourself to others. As long as you wake up every day and try to be better than you were yesterday, you are on the
      right track.

      5. Step out of your comfort zone

      Stepping out of your comfort zone can lead you to maintain fit. Avoid home automation. Switch on or off plugs by getting up instead using the remote control. Try not to use your vehicles if going out for buying groceries, walk down. In this way, you can lead a healthy lifestyle.

      Taking small steps daily can lead you to be fit and healthy. If you don’t want to give your hard-earned money to the hospitals please wake up and start leading an active lifestyle.

      For me, fitness is first and foremost about feeling good and being able to move without pain.

      Fitness is truly a spectrum of physical well-being that must balance our physical and emotional motivations.

      When all of the components of fitness are balanced, physically and mentally, we get the most benefit.

      Hoping you will like this blog. Don’t forget to like, share and follow. Feel free to ask queries.

      The best exercise for reducing blood pressure

      Although regular aerobic activity is important to the health and wellbeing of everyone, far too many people make the crucial mistake of assuming painful, strenuous workouts are the most productive way to exercise.

      The startling fact is that moderate exercise – with the prime example being walking – may be an even more effective way to exercise, especially if you need to lower your blood pressure, and definitely if you’re just beginning your fitness program.

      Walking is the best exercise for reducing blood pressure

      Before starting any new fitness program – especially if you haven’t exercised in a while or if you have medical problems – you should always consult your doctor first. Your doctor might even suggest you change some of your lifestyle habits such as your diet or medications in addition to starting an exercise program.

      A doctor’s prior approval is especially important since some activities can cause your blood pressure to rise to potentially dangerous levels. Recent research shows that vigorous exercise in unfit individuals may be harmful and should be avoided unless tolerance to the exercise has been built up over a reasonable period.

      On the other hand, numerous studies have proven that people who exercise moderately and regularly are more likely to have blood pressures in the healthy ranges.

      Different types of exercise depend on your fitness levels, but cycling, walking, and swimming are excellent choices for starting a fitness program. For each of these options, you can easily control your work level and your progression so that you keep your blood pressure within a healthy range during the activity and eventually lower your resting blood pressure, too.

      Progression is vital to the success of your fitness program. Start slowly so that your body has time to adjust and adapt. Remember, one of the main reasons people give up and quit new fitness programs after just a few weeks is that they try to work too hard, too soon.

      If you decide to start a walking program, for example, start slowly by walking two or at most three times a week for ten to fifteen minutes at a time at a leisurely pace. Gradually increase either your pace or time each week. After a couple of months, you can increase the number of weekly sessions, too.

      If you decide to join a health club, you should start with a qualified personal fitness professional who will take all medical history into account and help you design an appropriate fitness program.

      Uncontrolled high blood pressure leads to many different medical problems such as stroke, coronary disease, and kidney disease, so you must do everything you can to control your blood pressure. Gradual progression is the key to keeping your blood pressure under control, maintaining your weight loss, avoiding injury, and ensuring long-term success.

      Avoid healthy foods that can kill you   

      Do you know that healthy foods can kill you? A 28-year-old woman from Mexico died soon after being taken to the hospital complaining of kidney pains. Lorena Peralta Baltazar had been on a diet of weight loss shakes for six months.

      The doctors found a large amount of lead in her blood, which caused kidney failure. The lead also damaged her liver, pancreas, and other organs. Lorena was on a Herbalife nutritional program and had been consuming meal replacement shakes for six months.

      People these days want to reduce weight quickly for which they get attracted towards various products which promise them to reduce weight in ten days, in turn, they are facing sudden cardiac deaths, heart attack, liver damage and much more.

      Weight loss shakes, protein shakes and meal supplements that claim to help you lose weight quickly have gained immense popularity around the world. Visit any supermarket and you are sure to spot a new, never heard of brand selling its healthy food options and diet meals to weight-conscious customers.

      Moreover, Lorena’s case highlights the mindlessness with which we are consuming these seemingly healthy products. It is important to know how to read the label and realize that not all diet and healthy foods out there are good for you. Here’s a list of healthy foods that can kill you or land you in the hospital.

      Juices

      Hate fruits and instead end up picking up fruit juices with ‘no sugar’ claims available at the supermarket? There’s the reason why you should stop now! Most of these juices have very little or no real fruit in them and the taste is enhanced with artificial flavors and sugar. All you get from fruit juice is sugar that your body doesn’t need and just a few vitamins. Regular intake of fruit juices can lead to obesity, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease amongst many others.

      Whole Wheat

      While whole wheat is healthier than refined wheat, it is still not healthy for your body and should be avoided. As per one study, wheat fiber can deplete the store of Vitamin D in the body and can also increase the production of LDL cholesterol by 60 % which can be fatal to your heart. It is also rich in gluten and therefore, it’s better you control the intake.

      Honey or Agave nectar

      We often prefer drizzling our pancakes and waffles with honey instead of maple syrup. However, you are not saving yourself from the ill effects of sugar by making this seemingly ‘healthy’ choice. It is important to note that the fructose content is what one should be aware of in these sweeteners. Too much fructose can lead to fatty liver disease, metabolic problems that will ultimately lead to obesity and diabetes. You are better off using regular sugar with its 50% fructose than using Agave nectar which has 90% fructose.

      Sports/energy drinks

      Before you reach out for a bottle of energy drink that promises to up your energy levels in an instant, you need to understand what these contain – water (so that you do not feel dehydrated), electrolytes (electrolytes like sodium is lost via sweat), and sugar (a source of energy). Nothing wrong with it you feel?

      Well, now you need to know who needs these energy drinks. These sports drinks were made for athletes who indulge in intense training sessions which includes massive sweating. So if you are not indulging in a heavy, intense workout and just sweating it out due to cardio exercises or simple weight training, you Do Not need this. Go for plain water with a lemon squeezed in it or coconut water. One bottle of an energy drink contains over 30 grams of sugar.

      Energy Bars

      Convenient and an instant source of protein, energy bars are fit for athletes or those who are a part of intense training. These bars are highly processed and though high protein content is a good part, they contain the same unhealthy ingredients that a bar of chocolate contains- white flour, sugar, oil, butter, etc. This is better than grabbing junk foods when you are hungry and away from a healthy eating option, but do not make it a habit or a meal replacement. Always keep fruit in your bag to avoid going hungry or ending up uploading up calorie-rich food.

      Please feel free to raise your doubts or queries through comments. If you like this blog, please share it and follow my blog.

      Finding A Diet That Really Works

      Searching for a new diet that works? If you’re a habitual dieter, wouldn’t it be nice to stop changing diets? Is there a diet that actually works?

      Everyone has a habit or a vice. Some people smoke. Some people bite their fingernails. Some people can’t resist having a piece of chocolate before bed time, and others snore when they sleep. Others are habitual dieters, always looking for a new diet that promises astonishing results.

      How many new diet plans have you tried? Some people can tick off a list of new diet after diet that they have tried. They yo-yo back and forth. Atkins, weight watchers, the grapefruit diet, the soup diet, the salad diet, the low-fat diet… some people can’t even count every new diet they have tried.

      Often, each new diet is punctuated by a day of binge eating. Sure, you lost weight on that latest low-carbohydrate new diet, but now you’re craving a baked potato, French fries, and a big piece of garlic bread. Wouldn’t it be great to find a new diet that allows you to eat all the foods you want while still losing weight?

      The bottom line is that the best option isn’t actually a new diet. It’s a concept that has been around for ages, but people fail to overlook it with so many new diet choices on the market. If you talk to most doctors, however, they will agree that fad dieting is not the smartest choice to lose weight.

      However bombarded we may be with new diet choices; there is one fact that can’t be ignored. We lose weight when we limit our caloric intake. This isn’t about grapefruit, carbohydrates, fat-free products, or even following a strict new diet plan. It’s about eating in moderation. You don’t have to go hungry, but you need to use willpower to make sure you don’t overeat. Limiting your calories means shedding those unwanted pounds.

      What happens when you don’t have willpower? Face it; some of us just don’t have that extra willpower that we need to turn down a second serving of our favorite food. It’s hard to do, especially when your new diet has left you hungry.

      Willpower can’t be bottled and sold, but there is a new diet concept that will give you the willpower you need to follow through with your weight loss goals. I’m not talking about appetite suppressants. Many of these products still leave you hungry and leave you feeling jittery or overheated.

      If you missed the expose on 60 Minutes or Today show, then you probably haven’t heard about a new vegetable that could jumpstart your diet. This means no more signing on for a new diet every month because you’ll finally have found something that works safely and long term. I’m talking about Hoodia Gordonii. This cactus like plant was introduced to the market recently, but it has been around for centuries. Bushmen in Africa used it for warding off hunger during long expositions.

      What does this mean for you today? It means you can limit your calories while not being at all hungry. You’ll feel as if you have already eaten. I know, it sounds almost too good to be true, but it actually works. The best news is that Hoodia is all natural, making it totally safe to incorporate this as a part of your daily diet. Stop stressing over food, the latest new diet, or losing that unwanted weight. Watch those pounds melt off safely and quickly.

      The bottom line is that the best option isn’t a new diet. It’s a concept that has been around for ages, but people fail to overlook it with so many new diet choices on the market. However, talking to most doctors will agree that fad dieting is not the wisest choice to lose weight.

      However bombarded we may be with new diet choices, one fact can’t be ignored. When we limit our caloric intake, we lose weight, which isn’t about grapefruit, carbohydrates, fat-free products, or even following a strict new diet plan. It’s about eating in moderation. You don’t have to go hungry, but you need to use willpower to make sure you don’t overeat. Limiting your calories means shedding those unwanted pounds.

      What happens when you don’t have willpower? Face it; some of us don’t have that extra willpower that we need to turn down a second serving of our favorite food. It’s hard to do, especially when your new diet has left you hungry.

      Willpower can’t be bottled and sold, but a new diet concept will give you the willpower you need to follow through with your weight loss goals. I’m not talking about appetite suppressants. Many of these products still leave you hungry and leave you feeling jittery or overheated.

      If you missed the expose on the 60 Minutes or Today show, then you probably haven’t heard about a new vegetable that could jumpstart your diet. It means no more signing on for a new diet every month because you’ll finally have found something that works safely and long term. I’m talking about Hoodia Gordonii. This cactus-like plant was introduced to the market recently, but it has been around for centuries. Bushmen in Africa used it for warding off hunger during long expositions.

      What does this mean for you today? It means you can limit your calories while not being at all hungry. You’ll feel as if you have already eaten. I know, it sounds almost too good to be accurate, but it works. The best news is that Hoodia is all-natural, making it safe to incorporate this as a part of your daily diet. Stop stressing over food, the latest new diet, or losing that unwanted weight. Watch those pounds melt off safely and quickly.

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