Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Hypertension

Sadly things aren't so good under the hood...

So here's the thing; Out of the blue I've just been diagnosed with Stage 2 hypertension.  I had no symptoms (and still don't).  No head-aches, palpitations, NOTHING.  Nada.  Zero.  Zilch.  I can't believe I am actually 'broken' at some level...

This was a chance finding (I used a friend's blood pressure cuff - partly in jest - and got a high reading.  I repeated this measurement a few days later and got another high reading), that has since been confirmed by my doctor.

My diet is pretty good - plenty of whole foods with quality meat and fish, and lots of fresh vegetables.  Some fruit and nuts, and modest dairy.  I have the odd bowl of porridge but avoid most grains (bread and cereals).  Processed food is minimal - save for tinned tuna, mackerel and sardines. Activity wise I engage in a few sports and do some strength training. I don't smoke and rarely drink (the latter only during the Six Nations Rugby or Xmas).  I've low body fat and have just hit my 40s so just don't tick any of the standard boxes.  I am not even sure I can blame the seasons.

Stress is perhaps the main factor.  I didn't think I was stressed but being a working parent can be stressful.  Perhaps my OAC and deadlifting ambitions are similarly too intense?  I need to figure this one out as hypertension can do real damage.

The diet I am happy with (I've added in a few more beets and celery).  The exercise will focus more generic and functional activity like climbing, swimming, walking and a bit of Lau Gar Kung Fu (the forms in particular as they share roots with Tai Chi).  I've sacked my morning cold shower and any late night training (and the resultant late night eating) in a bid to spare my 'stress points' to once daily - around midday.  I will still do some weight work in the medium term, and the odd sprint, but need to manage my numbers first.


I am also looking to introduce a program of relaxation.  I am heading to bed earlier and taking time to deep breathe and meditate daily.  (Dr Kendrick's blog is food for thought.)

By necessity, my goals are shifting from elite-fitness toward health and longevity.  Let's see how this one goes.....

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