FREDERICK GOODALL’s BLOOD pressure had been hovering in the high 130s/90s for a while, which didn’t concern him much—until he had a stroke in 2019. That’s when he hit fast-forward on efforts to bring his numbers down. Digging into his daily habits opened his eyes on what to tweak. He followed his strengths to these simple strategies, and now his BP tracks 130/80 or less.
Let Tech Help You Out
Gooddall, 53, a self-proclaimed “data junkie,” knew that feedback would help him push his numbers down. He bought an Omron Complete blood-pressure monitor, which showed him that the worse his stress level was, the higher his readings were. Now when stress builds, he says he pulls up a five-minute guided meditation on his phone to “refocus and reduce the stress of the moment.” And if he’s trending high, in the 140s, he calls his doc to adjust his meds.
Find Fitness Outside of the Gym
Gooddall figured he should be going to the gym. (Just 30 minutes of daily aerobic exercise has been proven to lower blood pressure.) But after he bought a gym membership, he quickly realized “I’m not going to be consistent with it.” Moving just to move isn’t his thing. Moving for fun is. So he turned to activities he once enjoyed: roller-skating—a heart-pumping lap around the neighborhood a few times a week with his kids—and ’80s workout videos (solo, no leg warmers). He also walks daily with his wife and two dogs.
More From Men’s Health
Learn From the Team
Shortly after he found out he had high blood pressure, one of his daughters went pescatarian; another went vegetarian. When he started cooking to their p, he cut back on fast food and emphasized vegetable- forward dishes. He learned how to cook with less sodium and “keep it flavorful as well.” Smart move: The DASH diet, which focuses on eating more produce and limiting sodium, has been found to drop blood pressure 7 to 12 points.
A version of this article originally appeared in the May/June 2023 issue of Men’s Health.
Cori Ritchey, NASM-CPT is an Associate Health & Fitness Editor at Men’s Health and a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor. You can find more of her work in HealthCentral, Livestrong, Self, and others.
Read the full article here