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Using a Home Blood Pressure Monitor
Using a Home Blood Pressure Monitor

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Online learning resources for diabetes, asthma, hypertension, and nutrition.
Diabetes 101: Learn more about diabetes, managing your blood sugar levels, and your diet.
Diabetes 201: Learn more about diabetes, managing your blood sugars, and your diet.
Asthma 101: Learn more about asthma and dealing with shortness of breath.
Hypertension 101: Learn more about hypertension and managing your blood pressure.
Nutrition 101: Learn more about improving your nutrition and diet

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Lesson 4 - Decisions, Decisions: Diet and Exercise Regimens

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Participate in physical activity

It's no secret that increasing your physical activity is imperative in a successful weight loss program. That's reason enough to participate in physical activity if you need to lose weight. However, suppose you don't need lose — why exercise then? Well, for starters, physically active people are 20-50% less likely to develop high blood pressure than those who aren't active. If you already have high blood pressure, physical activity plays a role in reducing your risk of heart disease, lowering your overall cholesterol, raising your good cholesterol levels (HDL-cholesterol), and all in all, helps to lower your blood pressure — and that's what we're most concerned with here.

Marathon shmarathon
Sometimes the challenge of moving from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one can seem a bit overbearing. This doesn't have to be the case! You don't need to start jogging or biking twelve miles a day, every day in order to stay in shape. Doctors recommend that you participate in aerobic activity (this means that your body uses oxygen to make the energy it needs to perform the activity, examples include jogging, brisk walking, or swimming) for at least 30 minutes, 4-5 times a week. You don't even necessarily need to complete thirty minutes in a row — you can break it up into two periods of fifteen minutes, or even three ten minute periods. You'd be surprised how easy it is to fit adequate amounts of physical activity into your day without even trying that hard. We'll give you some helpful tips on how to do this when you get to Lesson 7. It's a fact — physical activity makes you feel better, and gives you more energy. It's really a win-win situation, this exercise thing!

Better safe than sorry!
Most people don't need to talk to their doctor before starting an exercise program. However, if you have hypertension, it's another story. Make sure you discuss your intended exercise program with your doctor so that he or she can give you the medical green light. You need to be careful to start slow, and not go into it with an "all or nothing" mentality. Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps! Don't shoot yourself in the foot by starting out with a strenuous workout that will leave your body aching and your motivation in the toilet. Be patient — before you know it, you'll be feeling great, and feeling fit!

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