How To Lower Your Blood Pressure In A Week

A small change to your meal planning could help improve your blood pressure as much as taking prescription medication.

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. No one likes to feel tricked, especially about their health. That’s why every weekday, we make sense of the confusing world of wellness with quick tips designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. If you were forwarded this message, you can get the free daily email here.

Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Arnold’s Monday motivation

  • The quick blood pressure fix

  • The shortcut paradox

  • Workout of the week

Arnold’s Podcast

Want more stories from Arnold? Every day, Arnold’s Pump Club Podcast opens with a story, perspective, and wisdom from Arnold that you won’t find in the newsletter. And, you’ll hear a recap of the day’s items. You can subscribe on Apple, Spotify, Google, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Arnold’s Corner: Monday Motivation

This weekend, I was inspired.

Like every weekend, people in the Pump app shared their wins and struggles. 

One was getting back into training after finishing cancer therapy, one was training through the loss of two family members right around Christmas, and one was training to deal with depression and anxiety. 

They’re all issues that people face every day. But the honesty is what impressed me. Because each of those people, by sharing, will inspire many more people who might be quietly facing something similar.

It got me thinking — why isn’t the rest of the internet as positive and supportive as The Pump, where people know they can share their failures or successes and find support?

And what if we could make it a little more positive?

The answer to the first question is a choice. It’s a choice made by the companies to encourage people to see things that make them angrier, meaner, and more bitter because that keeps their eyeballs on the screen. But it’s also a choice by all of us to go along with it, get angry, and be mean.

The answer to the second question involves all of you. What if we all chose not to play by the rules those companies set?

What if we just decided not to go along with the negativity?

I want you to think back and remember what you were like before social media. Were you a little happier? A little less angry?

I don’t think giving up social media is an answer for almost anyone, so I’m not going to challenge you to do that.

I’m challenging you to not post anything negative. Don’t let a tweet or a post make you angry. Move on.

If you need inspiration and want to see what a community is like when people only build each other up instead of tearing each other down, use the 7-day free trial and check out the Pump — and do me a favor and read the post titled “Weekend Pump Club Hangout.” If nothing else, I want you to smile from all the people lifting each other up, just like I do. And you can see the positivity that is out there.

But you don’t need the Pump. You can also do this on whatever social media you use. I want you to pay attention to how you feel this week when you don’t get angry or mean. Because I’m going to be checking in Friday.

We have the positive corner of the internet; now it’s time to grow it into a positive square.

Just a Teaspoon Of Salt Makes The Blood Pressure Go Down

With all due respect to Mary Poppins, this version of the classic song might do much more for your health.

New research suggests that reducing daily salt intake by one teaspoon could reduce your blood pressure as much as taking hypertension medication

To be clear, salt is not all bad. In fact, sodium is an important mineral for muscle and nerve function, especially when you’re active. But in the United States, people consume far more than the recommended amount.

In this study, participants spent one week on a high-sodium diet and one week on a low-sodium diet. Blood pressure dropped in almost 75 percent of the participants following the low sodium plan, regardless of their starting blood pressure, including those already taking blood pressure medication. 

And, the changes experienced were similar to what people see when first starting medication to reduce blood pressure. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t need to take medication if you have high blood pressure. That is a decision to make with your doctor.

While your body can tolerate salt, the problem is that most ultra-processed, packaged foods are loaded with sodium; sometimes, one meal contains more than you need in a day. If you want to cut back, here are two changes to help you build better eating habits. 

  1. Find one packaged food you typically eat that’s high in sodium and swap it out with something lower in sodium or a home-cooked option. Or, just a healthy meal delivery service, like Trifecta, which is like eating a chef-prepared meal without all the cooking or mess. (As a bonus for being a Pump Club member, you get 50% OFF when you use the code “Arnold.”)

  2. For one week, measure out the salt you use when you cook. When you salt and season your food, limit to ¼ of a teaspoon. This will help you better understand how much salt to use. You might use more at times, but the idea is to give you more awareness of the amounts that impact your body. 

A little bit of awareness can go a long way. 

There Are No Shortcuts

We love the image because it reminds us how we can become our worst enemy, even when we have good intentions. Remember, if someone promises you a quick fix, you usually trade a short-term win for a long-term loss.

Those plans promising 4-week results? It’s a trap. Invest in people and programs who play long-term games. They don’t tell you what you want to hear or what sounds best, but they will most likely give you what you need.

Workout of the Week

If you want to jumpstart your New Year’s training this week, try this full-body workout.

The plan is simple: you’ll set a timer for 1 minute and do the number of reps listed on the first exercise. Then, rest the remainder of the minute. Then, set the timer for another minute, do the reps of the second exercise, and rest the remainder. Repeat this for each exercise, and once you complete all five exercises, rest for 2 minutes, and then repeat. Complete 2 to 4 rounds, meaning the workout could be as short as 12 minutes (and you’ll feel like it was much longer!)

Dumbbell or band workout

  1. Dumbbell or band thruster: 5 reps

  2. Dumbbell or band chest press: 8 reps

  3. Dumbbell lunges: 10 reps

  4. Dumbbell or band row: 10 reps

  5. Dumbbell or band straight leg deadlift: 8 reps

Bodyweight variation

  1. Bodyweight squat: 10-15 reps

  2. Pushups: 10-12 reps

  3. Lunges: 8 reps per leg

  4. Inverted row: 10-12 reps

  5. Bodyweight straight leg deadlift: 10 reps/leg

Remember, we recently created a 100+ page free workout guide. You can access it here.

Here’s wishing you all a fantastic week ahead!

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell