Slow and steady wins the race. It seems like this is true no matter what you’re doing. Trying to move fast – with anything – generally means cutting corners or acting unsustainably.
Fast results are enticing but very tiring. It can mean a lot of grasping at straws and a lot of unknowns. When you move slow and steady and stick to a long-term plan or overall philosophy, you’re not only more likely to reach your goals but sustain and exceed them.
A slow and steady approach to lowering blood pressure is likely the most effective and healthy way to get the results you want.
What does that look like? It doesn’t look like a major diet and starting to run 10 miles per day. Instead, it involves making small sustainable changes that grow into larger lifestyle preferences.
Do activity and a healthy diet help heart health? Absolutely. But only if they are done sustainably.
There is plenty of evidence suggesting that consistent low-to-moderate activity can have long-lasting results on blood pressure. If you’re currently sedentary and battling high blood pressure, or borderline high blood pressure, high-impact running isn’t realistic.
Getting a total of 30-minutes of exercise per day, however, is. It doesn’t even have to be all at the same time. Six five-minute sessions of moderate activity each day can start lowering blood pressure.
The same strategy applies to diet. If you’re not eating a lot of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, or healthy fats now, while relying largely on processed foods, you’re not going to be able to make a 180 on your nutrition.
Instead, start making small adjustments. One less processed meal per day and a couple of healthy snack substitutes made incrementally are where to start.
Over time, you’re more likely to start making more adjustments and doing more activity that’s both effective and, more importantly, sustainable.
You might see a huge drop in your blood pressure right away. But sticking with these lifestyle measures will help contribute to lower blood pressure and longer-term results that will hopefully lead to a healthier and high-quality life.