Manuel (51 years old, 240 lbs., 5’8”) has had high blood pressure over the past several years and was prescribed medication, but he’s heard that taking this type of medication can affect his kidneys so he hasn’t been taking it. Instead, he’s been working out consistently. This has helped lower his blood pressure, but he’s still wondering if he should be taking this medication anyway.
Manuel, you need to lose about 40 pounds in order to get yourself healthy again. Take
my usual advice here of eliminating breads, pizza, pasta, cookies and cake from your diet,
and limit your salt and sugar intake as well.
But here’s another thing. You say you’re going to the gym, which is good. But you need
to do more than just lift weights. You need to get your heart rate up. You need to sweat!
By getting your heart rate up you’ll be triggering all sorts of changes that will help your
cardiovascular fitness, lower your blood pressure, lower your cholesterol levels, and help
you lose weight.
So as long as your doctor says it’s okay, I want you to get on the treadmill and sweat
as much as you can. For myself, I can’t even go on the treadmill to work out anymore,
because I just don’t sweat enough. I need something more aggressive like tennis. But
whatever works for you. As long as your doctor says your heart is in good condition, then
start working out aerobically and I guarantee you you’ll start feeling a lot better, and your
blood pressure will drop. Until you do this, you should probably stay on your medication,
just to be safe. But by losing weight, eating a more healthy diet, and exercising you
should be able to get off the medication eventually.