Want to lower your High Blood Pressure? Get yourself a dog!
Pssst, want to positively do something about your High Blood Pressure? Get yourself a pooch and walk it!
Seriously, this is not a wind up nor is it a reverse promotion for the Canine Defence League (or whatever). It is genuine recommendation for those who suffer with High Blood Pressure and want to do something positive about it in a natural manner.
I suffer from High Blood Pressure. I keep banging on about it in a number of articles because in a great many ways (mine probably included if I am brutally honest), something can be done about and it may (note MAY, not DEFINITELY) have been avoidable.
But I digress; this article is about what can be done about High Blood Pressure (HBP or Hypertension) not about how I managed to get it.
There are two options to consider when you are diagnosed with High Blood Pressure.
Firstly you can sit there and go “Woe is me, how many tablets do I have to take and at what part in the proceedings will impotence hit me?” – Us guys like to get our priorities right ?
Secondly you can sit up, re evaluate how you got into that position in the first place and then try and see if you can do something about it. The latter path is the one yours truly decided upon and hence we find ourselves discussing the merits and relative advantages of getting a mutt!
In my case the BP readings were fairly high (try 216 over 160! 120 over 80, god how I used to fantasise about that) and as such Drug therapy was the immediate no brainer in the first instance but once that came under control and the levels dropped it was possible to look at other complimentary measures to run alongside the tablets.
One year down the line from my initial diagnosis and the BP levels were manageable, I had managed to lose some weight. I could have lost the weight sooner but my self discipline for diets has always been awful but again, I digress.
Increased exercise was the next part of the rehabilitation plan and though I had always been keen on walking and getting outside for exercise, again my lousy self discipline always managed to get in the way of any constructive resolution.
This whole narrative might sound like the immediate problem was my own lack of self will and discipline and in many ways that is true. I admire those fanatical enthusiasts who can be seen pounding the streets at 6.30 am every day before they go off to work. My own view on this has always been to try and incorporate some form of longer lasting therapy that in my case was more self sustainable allowing for my own weaknesses.
Now the question may be asked at this point is how serious was I about getting my HBP down and under manageable levels? I have never been more serious about anything else in my life as to be totally honest I am not too wild about departing this mortal coil well before my anointed time.
My own view on this whole exercise was that my “anti HBP regime” had to be able to be sustainable AND scaleable therefore meaning that the lifestyle / approach would still be on track if I found myself laid up with any form of illness and /or accident.
So, increased exercise as well as change of diet, eating, work habits etc was the order of the day.
Hence we find our self with the situation with a dog. Having lived with dogs all throughout my childhood, I was aware of the companionship that my son would feel if we had one for our family but also I was keenly aware of the responsibility that comes along with having a dog!
They need feeding, looking after and……plenty of exercise.
Now we are the proud owners of a Black Labrador / Border collie first cross 50 lbs of fun, fur and mayhem called Elmo. He specialises in all of the things that dogs do best. He eats as much as he can get his paws on, he then makes sure that as much as possible is then manufactured out the other end as often as possible and in the most inconsiderate of places! He chews anything and everything he can get his jaws round, nothing is safe, nothing is sacred and one of these days my eight year old son will get the message not to leave toys lying around the place unattended.
Lastly he is demanding about being taken out and this is where we find the missing link in my Anti HBP Therapy! As the day goes by his whole demeanour and attitude becomes more intense until finally if you haven’t got the hint by evening time he enters into what can only be described by US Sports Commentators as his “Hurry up Offence”. He comes and sits in front of you, rests his head on your legs and doesn’t move. He just looks at you with that expression that makes it perfectly clear that either it is exercise time or he is going to leave large amounts of canine saliva all over your trousers, shorts, anything in fact that you happen to be wearing at the time!
With a persuasive argument like that it is difficult to refuse and hence I find my High Blood Pressure reducing to manageable proportions, my weight dropping and I am also now in the position of being able to review and reduce (in certain cases) the level of medication that I need to help control my blood pressure.
All by and large down to getting a pooch!
Now if I could do something about the chewing….next time he destroys the Satellite remote (again), he gets it……..
About the Author: Stephen Morgan launched the site http://www.highbloodpressure.name as a result of being diagnosed with acute High Blood Pressure and is also the founder of Living with High Blood Pressure. More information on the above article can be found at http://www.livingwithhighbloodpressure.net/features/need_exercise_then_get_yourself_a_dog.html