Saturday, October 04, 2014

below 80

For several years, my resting heart rate was dangerously high—well into the 90s. Since mid-August of this year, however, my frequent hiking has brought me one major benefit: my resting heart rate is finally down under 80 beats per minute (76 bpm, to be exact). Old science textbooks used to peg the average resting heart rate for human beings at about 77 bpm for women and 70 bpm for men. These days, the range for what's considered "average" has been widened: the Mayo Clinic website posits 60-100 bpm for "adults" (i.e., for both men and women). By this reckoning, I suppose I might have been considered still within the normal range, but I'm a bit old-school about this, and I think 90 bpm is way, way too high. The fact that my resting rate is now in the 70s is a significant improvement. I doubt I'll ever get to a point where my resting rate is in the 40s and 50s, as is true for most committed athletes, but I'll be happy if I can persuade my 45-year-old heart muscle to get down to the mid-60s.

I'd actually love to see what my blood pressure is like these days. I bet it's a good bit lower, thanks to all the walking. For a long time, I was at the high end of normal, but over the past four or five years, my blood pressure went over the edge (diastolic over 100), to the point that, last year, a doctor in Hayang told me I'd need blood-pressure meds to bring the numbers down. I refuse to take meds, and that refusal is one of the things spurring me to keep on hiking. If I can resolve my own problems without outside intervention, then that's what I plan to do. Combine this with a radical alteration in diet, and I'll be on my way to handling what I believe to be my incipient diabetes. Which reminds me: my previous employer required new teachers to get medical checkups, but Dongguk University has no such requirement. I'm glad, especially given how my medical records at my previous job weren't kept private: I got embarrassing news of "high urine glucose" from a campus office administrator. (I suppose it wasn't that embarrassing if I'm sharing such news with you now, Dear Reader.)


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