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Ask Dr. Nandi: Most would rather pop a pill, drink tea than exercise for high blood pressure

Posted at 6:40 PM, Apr 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-10 09:39:23-04

High blood pressure is a serious health concern for millions of Americans. Many doctors recommend exercise as one of the best ways to treat it.

But according to a new survey, most people would rather do just about anything other than work up a sweat.

Just a few generations ago, most people had physical movement built into their everyday lives. Our ancestors didn’t have the technology we have now…so daily tasks required more work.

That also meant that they didn’t sit in chairs all day like many of us to today. As a result, chronic health issues like high blood pressure were much less of a problem. 

Today, it’s estimated that a whopping 46 percent of Americans have high blood pressure.

Researchers from the Yale School of Medicine recently did a survey asking people if they’d adopt various treatment options to add years to their life.

It’s pretty common knowledge that exercise is a great way to lower high blood pressure. Still, nearly four out of five people said they’d rather take a pill than exercise.

Drinking tea came in a close second, and exercise just barely beat out injections for third. 

Movement is the key here. I always say that exercise doesn’t necessarily mean going to the gym and lifting weights, although there’s nothing wrong with the gym if you enjoy it.

But taking a nice walk outside is a perfect way to get some exercise, or going for a hike, or riding a bike. Just get out of your chair!

Sometimes it’s hard to keep the weight off even when we exercise.

Have you looked at changing your diet? The food we eat is essential to maintaining heart health, and it’s something that wasn’t addressed in the study.

If you’re eating poorly it doesn’t matter how much you work out…because you’ll still struggle to achieve your goals. You have to do both.

So eat well and keep moving. And avoid the quick fix!