Advice to 20 year olds

I feel silly posting this but I have something I want to say. If I could say something to my 20 year olds out there, this would be it:

I am 31 years old, but I have a terrible affliction. I have high blood pressure. I have had it since I was 12 years old. It started out purely genetic as I was in normal weight range and in terrific health when I was 12. My grandmothers, my father, my aunt, etc all had high blood pressure (and we’re all known worriers!) However, as I’ve gotten older, I have gained way too much weight, and I have not lived a very healthy lifestyle.

The reason I bring all of this up is this week, my BP has spiked into the hypertensive crisis levels and this scares me greatly. I have a beautiful little girl I need to live for. I’m only 31. I’m still young! I don’t want to stroke out and die at 31. Healthy living is no longer a desire, but it is now a necessity to save my life. I have to value my life more than my unhealthy habits, which, not going to lie, are sometimes fun.

If you are in your 20s, please monitor your blood pressure and be aware of what contributes to it. It really is a silent killer. Maintain a healthy weight, don’t drink too much, and watch your salt. Exercise. Your 20s fly by quickly but some decisions you make during this decade can have long-term effects. My blood pressure didn’t start by my lifestyle, but when it’s running at levels above 170/100 while being medicated, I know I’ve done some damage to my circulatory system. I should have been wiser, smarter, and more aware. Your health is nothing to gamble with and nights of drunken stupidity isn’t worth health problems later. I promise you this.

Take care of your body. It’s the only one you have!

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