Like many I was shocked to find out that I had stage 2 high blood pressure. I was in my middle forties … that's a condition for a much older person. I was wrong. In fact, I've learned that even children can suffer this malady.

This begged the question. Now what do I do? I was given a list, but I do not feel that the list is complete. There's more to this problem than diet and exercise. Sometimes other steps are needed.

Rest : If you burn the midnight oil and depend on caffeine or energy drinks to keep you going this could resolve your problem, at least in part. Sleep is necessary and we each have different needs in that department. Figure out how much you actually need and then sleep.

Food : A lot of favorite foods are on the “avoid” list. The problem comes in when we suffer through a boring diet. That is the fastest way I know of to slip up in healthy eating. Talk to a nutritionist and find healthy foods you actually like. You may also want to invest in a cookbook, and I do not mean a diet cookbook. There are substitutes for most of the higher fats sometimes employed and you can control the salt content if you cook it yourself.

Exercise : Moderate exercise three to five days a week is recommended. There are some things that should have added to that part of the list. As with food, find something you like to do. Try many different things until you find one that fits you.

Another thing to be aware of is that exercise does not have to be in complete chunks of time. Under normal circumstances I get ten minutes of exercise three times a day five days a week. It's called walking the dogs. Because the time is broken up it does not feel like much like exercise.

Meditation : There was a time when I could not associate the word with the right definition. Meditation is often thought of as something related to other religions. It does not matter, at least when it comes to reducing blood pressure. I have used it regularly that and stress.

Doctor : This is the most important part of lowering your numbers. The doctor can tell you which exercises are safe and can give you a referral to a nutritionist. If medications are needed they can be prescribed. In fact it may take two or three tries to get the right medications as there are several that work in different ways.