The Center for Disease Control just released its findings regarding unhealthy habits. If you smoke, drink alcohol excessively, eat poorly and don’t exercise, you are adding 12 years to your age and shortening your life span. Yikes! If this is you, please make ANY change, and you’ll improve the quality and quantity of your life.
But if you’re thinking, “That’s not me. I don’t smoke, don’t drink, eat a well-balanced diet and exercise when I can,” don’t think you are off the hook. The CDC also stated that many cases of cardiovascular disease and hypertension are going undiagnosed. Other factors contribute: gender (males are more likely to develop high blood pressure), age (our risk increases with age), race (certain ethnic groups are more susceptible), family history (it can run in your family) and stress (the silent killer!). In addition, we are all consuming more salt because it is added to everything these days. We’re lacking potassium and vitamin D…all which can raise blood pressure.
Normal blood pressure is 120/80 (or less). Ranges of 120 to 139 over 80 to 89 are considered pre-hypertension or the warning stage. Above that, and you need medical assistance to control your pressure until you can make the appropriate lifestyle changes.
So whichever scenario suits you, watch your blood pressure. Most pharmacies and some grocery stores have free monitors. You can purchase wrist monitors for under $50. Pay attention to ingredients in foods; be sure to have healthy outlets for your stress and exercise. If you haven’t tried yoga, do it! It’s a wonderful blend of stress relief, relaxation and core work.
Spring has finally arrived here in Colorado. And with it have come flowers and new growth on trees and shrubs. To me, it is a wonderful reminder of fresh starts. The past is the past. You have today and the future to look towards. It’s easy to say, but it can be difficult to stay focused forward when things from our past creep in. Reminders of mistakes made; consequences of bad decisions; emotional wounds. They are all real, but so is the present.
I used to be the type of person to beat myself up and really get caught up in my shortcomings and failures. Although I’m not perfect, I do try to concentrate on who I am right now. I am not who I was in my past, and I’m grateful. But if it weren’t for my stupid decisions or immature choices, I would not have learned things and gained insight. Because of my past, I have been able to extend more grace, understanding and compassion to others on their journey for I have been there.
In your quiet time or while taking a stroll this week, be thankful for who you are today, where you have come from, what you have learned and what you and only you can contribute to this world because of your unique past. We can’t change what has happened already, but we can do better from today on!
JUST FOR FUN
Here are some 60’s songs that have been revised for current times:
• Once, twice, three times to the bathroom! – The Commodores
• The first time ever I forgot your face – Roberta Flack
• Knock three times on the ceiling if you hear me fall – Tony Orlando