Turning 34 is definitely the transition to middle age. I had my physical today. The doctors (who were recommended to me by Rich) were great. I met both Dr. Ken and Dr. Laura (husband and wife team) and Ken spent nearly an hour with me, getting a history, doing the exam, drawing blood, talking about Rich. I think it was the most time a doctor has spent with me in one sitting.
I don’t know about the blood work yet, but one thing emerged from the visit: I have “elevated” blood pressure. My pressure was 138/88 on the automatic machine and roughly the same 135/90 on the manual (and more accurate) machines. I now have to work toward reducing these number. Normal numbers for someone my age and health are 115/70-something. There are two ways of reducing this: (1) reduce salt intake; and (2) more carido-vascular exercise. I’m not sure which is more challenging.
I never add salt to any of my foods, but I probably do eat a lot of foods with a high salt content, so that’s got to go. I’ll probably switch to oatmeal for breakfast. PB&J are fairly low-salt, as are turkey sandwiches so my lunches can stay fairly consistent. But no more chips–for a while anyway. I’m suddenly a little more conscious of actually looking at the labels on the things that I consume. A can of Caffine Free Coke has 50mg of sodium. I don’t know if this is a lot or a little, but I probably have to limit my intake of these, somewhat. The frozen dinners are probably pretty high in salt content, so dinners are going to be the trickiest thing to alter. Or I could just stop eating dinner. Probably need more pasta, plain rice, stuff like that.
And then there’s cardio. I’ve been doing the pushups and weights, but no cardio. I need to start. I’ll probably start bny running 3-times a week, building up to 30 minutes the same way I built up to 90 pushups. I may mix in or switch to biking at some point, because that’s probably easier on my knees.
Of course, this is easier said than done, I’m sure, as anyone who has ever tried this knows, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
I’m scheduled for a follow-up visit on April 27 to see how much, if any, the numbers have changed. In any event, I’d definitely say that elevated blood pressure is a clear sign of middle age.