-by Leilehua Yuen
I will be sixty in August of 2017. Over the past ten years, I have had numerous health challenges. I plan to hit sixty the healthiest I have been in a decade. I invite you to join me on this journey, which I will be documenting on this page.
There was a time when my blood pressure averaged 117/68, my blood glucose stayed between 95 and 100, and I could eat all day and stay at 130 pounds.
Then, I quit walking. I became desk-bound, and I started eating foods with artificial sweeteners. My weight went to 190 pounds, my blood pressure was 169/104, and I was diagnosed with type II diabetes. I developed gout and three hernias. (I will write about the things that let to those lifestyle changes in another article.)
I've tried getting in shape and losing weight a number of times, once quite successfully. But I get discouraged and give up. It is a lot of work to live a healthy lifestyle when our entire culture is so unhealthy!
The past few years have been quite sad for me. One of my younger brothers died from obesity and diabetes-related causes. Several other relatives, most my own age, some younger, have also died. I want to see my grandsons graduate and have their own families. My parents are in their 80s, I come from two long-lived families. I am committed to regaining my health. I know I can do this.
I did a lot of research on the best techniques and tools to accomplish my goals. Walking is huge. If I walk 16,000 steps per day, my blood pressure drops to 119/88! That about six miles, and it takes me a couple of hours. But I don't try to do it all at once. I set my timer on my phone, and do 1,000 steps at a time, throughout the day.
Blood Pressure - 135 / 91
Blood Glucose - 100
Walking at least 10,000 steps per day has significantly lowered my average blood pressure AND my blood sugar (blood glucose). But I am still much heavier than my frame can handle. I can feel it in my heart and lungs - they are working much harder than they should. When I hit 185 - 190, I found that my chant voice is impacted. I just can't get any power behind it. And, since I am carrying 60 pounds more than my frame is designed to carry, if I pick up a 40 pound bag of dog food for our "boys," I am really stressing my body with a 100 pound load! Time to take a load off!
I use the Pacer app to keep track and motivate me. It's really quite accurate, and has a number of different exercise routines and challenges to spice things up and keep you motivated.
AND, I use the NPR 1 app a lot! While I walk, I can listen to local, national, and global news, and my favorite podcasts.
I even use my phone for a phone, and call my Mama and other people I want to stay in touch with!