Last week the American Heart Association and others groups came together to announce that they’ve decided to change the guidelines for what constitutes “high” blood pressure. It made me so angry that my blood pressure shot up 10 points.
This is the problem about getting a group of experts together. They feel like if they don’t come up with some new thing, their spouses are not going let them go to the next cool convention. Sometimes, they can’t actually come up with something revolutionary, so they just make something up.
This happened years ago when the scientists who sometimes look up at the stars and discover new galaxies and potential life-supporting planets got together and realized they had absolutely nothing to report.
“Hey,” said one of the scientists, “if we don’t do something newsworthy, my wife won’t let me come to the Vegas Astronomy Expo next year.”
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“I’ve got an idea,” another scientist said through a hiccup. “Let’s demote Pluto.”
Now, doctors, scientists and a few Martin Shkrelis have gotten together to talk about blood pressure. They decided that instead of 140/90 being considered “high” blood pressure, they would lower the threshold to 130/80.
Said one expert who helped come up with the new numbers “Just imagine how many drugs we can sell, er, I mean how many lives we can save. Hiccup.”
Unfortunately, my doctor is going to fall for this and try to get my blood pressure a little lower. In fact, about half of American men and 38 percent of American women will be in the same boat as me and be subject to harassment by their doctor.
But I’ve gotten many lectures from my doctor over the years about the many ways I’m flirting with death, and my next visit won’t be the first time we’ve discussed blood pressure. So, I’m kind of an expert on how to bring down your blood pressure, and I’m here to help you. Here are a few tips:
▪ Lose weight: I resolved at the beginning of this year to lose 10 pounds, and I’ve only got 15 more to go.
▪ Reduce stress: With news channels labeling every story “BREAKING NEWS,” it’s no wonder we are stressed out of our minds and out of our safe blood pressure zones. Cut off the TV and try meditating. When meditating, repeat a mantra that helps you relax. My mantra sounds an awful lot like a snore.
▪ Eat dark chocolate: It’s true. Dark chocolate can be good for you. I plan to fix my blood pressure today by eating a five-pound back of Hershey’s Special Dark bars. Take that, Lisinopril makers!
▪ Eat more fruits and veggies: Apparently, fried chicken is technically not a vegetable, according to my doctor. Then again, she thinks Pluto is a planet.
▪ Don’t binge drink: Unless you are an Atlanta Falcons fan, in which case you may need to binge drink to reduce the stress of watching them try to hold a lead. I like to add real limes to my margaritas on game day to ensure I’m getting enough fruit in my diet.
▪ Exercise: Of course, this is the No. 2 way to bring down your blood pressure. The No. 1 way is to not open that letter about your health insurance plan for next year. Trust me, I opened mine and have been binging on tequila and dark chocolate ever since.
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