Healthy Living

Finding Time to Get Outdoors with a Full Schedule

Exercising is a crucial part of staying in shape, but finding room in a busy schedule already filled to the brim with work and kids can be enough of a challenge in itself. How are we supposed to add another item to our ever-growing todo lists?

The key is multitasking; if you find inventive ways to get outside and get moving, you can accomplish other tasks simultaneously, saving you time and keeping you active! We suggest finding ways to get outdoors that involves the whole family.

One of the simplest ways to get out an exercise: head outside and take a walk! Take your kids, friends, or even your dog and go! You don’t have to go anywhere special. If you are crunched for time, just walk around your neighborhood and use it as time to catch up and chat about your day or to gather your thoughts and plan out your week.

If you have a little more free time, take a trip to one of your local parks. If you have a dog, look for one with a dog park or pet exercise area. Bring a yoga mat and get a session in while your kids play on a playground, or take a jog around the area together. There are endless options! You could even take some snacks with you and help your kids with homework outside after taking a walk through the park. Adjust your exercise schedule to meet your life’s many demands, and you can efficiently accomplish many things while getting much needed exercise and relief from day-to-day life.

Really wanting to get outside and take some time to focus on your health? Pack some water and snacks and hike a trail. There are trails for every level of experience, so don’t let it intimidate you! If you are just starting, pick a short trail with moderate terrain. If you are more experienced and feel like getting some exercise, find a more difficult trail on or near a mountain. The hard work will be worth the view! Take family and friends with you and make a day out of exploring a new place and taking some time to clear your head.

If you are really pressed for time, don’t worry; there are still plenty of things you can do. Head to your backyard and play with your dog for a little while, or do some yoga in the morning for a few minutes before you get ready for work.

The most important thing is that you get outside and exercise in a way that’s fun for you and works with your schedule.

Eating These Foods Could Help Lower Your Blood Pressure

Exercise and healthy habits can help lower your blood pressure—and so can these foods!

1. Reds - Beets and Berries

Beets are high in nitric oxide which opens blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. Berries are rich in flavonoids which helps lower blood pressure.

2. Leafy Greens

Leafy greens high in potassium helps your kidneys flush out sodium which helps reduce blood pressure. Stick to fresh or frozen varieties of kale, arugula, romaine, spinach, swiss chard, turnip greens, beet greens, or collard greens.

3. Bananas

Bananas are rich in potassium which helps your kidneys flush out sodium. Try a sliced banana in your morning oatmeal for a high fiber, low sodium breakfast.

4. Fish with Omega-3s

Not only is fish a great source for lean protein, fatty fish like salmon or mackerel are high in omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids can lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and lower triglycerides.

5. Pistachios

Eating a handful of pistachios is a great way to help reduce blood pressure. Pistachios reduce blood vessel tightening and heart rate.

Help Lower Your Blood Pressure With These Drinks

High blood pressure seems to be on the rise. Whether it is diet, lack of exercise, stress, or hereditary factors, changing what you drink might help lower blood pressure. Studies have found that drinking these three beverages could help lower your blood pressure.

1. Hibiscus Tea

Anthocyanins and other antioxidants in hibiscus tea may work together to keep blood vessels resistant to damage that causes them to narrow. Many herbal tea blends contain hibiscus, which brews up bright red and delivers a tart flavor. Hibiscus has a tiny sweetness to it but you can add a little honey or stevia to make it sweeter if it is too tart for your taste buds.

2. Reds

Reds, what you ask? Beet, pomegranate, cranberry, and wine (red) are all helpful in lowering blood pressure. These reds help with circulation and cranberries help reduce vessel damage. While red wine has great health properties, the more you drink, the more you increase your risk of developing alcohol-related health issues. To be on the safe side, doctors recommend no more than two glasses of red wine per day for men and one glass per day for women.

3. Milk

Studies have shown that high blood pressure is linked to calcium deficiency. Naturally, the more calcium you consume, the more you decrease your risk for developing high blood pressure based on a lack of calcium. To get the best blood pressure benefits, you want to choose milk that is higher in calcium and lower in fat. For that reason, low-fat milk is the way to go. And, if you are lactose intolerant there is a great alternative for you. Unsweetened almond milk that has been fortified with calcium is a good low-fat milk substitute to help lower blood pressure.