Saturday, August 10, 2013

It's Time to Change

by Susan Arden
As a parent, this time of year in early to late August is a time of transition. Gone are the dog days of summer. There’s the hustle-bustle as we’re getting the kids ready to start school. New clothes, new schedules, and a great time to begin reintroducing structure as classes and extra-curriculars commence.
And we adults too can benefit. Lately, I’ve been given a choice regarding high blood pressure: meds or lifestyle. I have high-blood pressure as a result of heredity and life…the luck of the DNA draw. In short, it makes it harder to redo lifestyle as I’m already underweight but of late, I’m also under my target for get-of- my-duff-and-move with a hectic writing and release schedule. So, as the kids head out the door, I thought this is a good time to reinvent a lifestyle gone amiss.

First, I had to define the target areas (Oh yeah I’m one of those). Here the four crucial parts or missing pieces:

Diet: DRINK MORE WATER  This little change dominoes so many other aspects of diet and health at the cellular level. Now, the first thing I do in the morning is drink two full glasses tepid water. No need to shock the system.

Exercise: Must be cardio and at least 15 minutes a day. I’m not trying for a triathlon, and this low target (*snicker*) is easy to turn into say 20-25-30 minutes.  With a low goal of 15 minutes, I found I was more apt to actually DO IT! Walking, jogging, sun salutations, elliptical (snort*I can read at the same time and it’s not cheating!!).

Meditation: In truth, this is one area that at first when I began five years ago, was so vague I thought what is everyone talking about. Close your eyes and what??? I was still thinking and more so because I was trying not to. I’d hear people talk about the benefits, but I didn’t understand the process. Smack to the head. I needed instruction and studied Zen forms of walking meditation and those clicked with me. The breath and movement allowed my ADHD nature a place to recede, rest, and rejuvenate.

Sleep: BIG POTHOLE. Easily, I was going with five hours. An overactive mind and underactive body will do that and do that relentlessly. A sure sign of being out-of-balance.
And for me that’s what high-blood pressure is a sign of or put another way, normal blood pressure is evidence of being grounded.
So yepper! After two weeks of Diet – Exercise – Meditation-Sleep guess what??? Instead of 159/92 my blood pressure hovers 130-127/72-78. Instead of MEDS I opted for DEMS (Diet, Exercise, Meditation, Sleep) to get a handle on blood-pressure.

Am I proclaiming everyone can go this route? Sorry, I’m not a doctor and if you’re taking meds, don’t stop. But go talk to your health care provider. August is a great time. Before starting any course impacting your health, seek professional advice and INSTRUCTION (no closed eyes and waiting for an answer) and maybe there’s new solutions. Ask about DEMS and how to incorporate changes into your lifestyle.

And if you’re not taking meds and have medical concerns, then seriously, do seek treatment and professional advice. The end of summer might be the a new start and time to think about changes.

Are you thinking about changes or the steps you’ll put into play? Great. Share your success and get others motivated to make positive changes.

Happy end-of-summer and enjoy this special time of transition.


  1. Loved this, Susan. I find walking every day gives me a lift, body and soul. Owning dogs helps in this; they make me get outside in good weather or bad. That and their unconditional love certainly has a hand in lowering my blood pressure!

  2. So true! Animals give back so much in just wanting to love and be loved. I've cattle dogs, cats, a snake and gecko. Thanks Deborah for stopping by.

  3. Awesome post Susan D. I myself have started eating well and exercising a bit more and feel a lot better. Have a lot to do before I get to my set goal but it is slowly coming together.

  4. It's a commitment to not eat and drink empty calories with no nutritional benefit. Exercise is so important. This year I signed up with a trainer at a local gym. So I'm taking some really big strides in the right direction. Now I just have to tackle the diet part. Sleeping is not an issue. I can sleep anywhere at anytime (comes with having a 3 year old, LOL). HUGS!


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