Sioux Falls, SD
Kay Parrot stays busy working at AAA as a travel agent. Outside of work she's picked up on a habit that's helps her cope with stress.
"I've been doing Tai chi now for about 13 years. Tai chi is a form of martial arts but it's more based toward breathing and relaxation; that sort of thing," Parrot said.
She's says focusing on her breathing is key.
"Most people when they breath, they breath very shallowly and they don't get enough oxygen into their body. With the whole body breathing you tend to have lower stress levels and lower blood pressure that sort of thing," Parrot said.
That's why relaxation is a priority to her.
I have a family history of high blood pressure, so I am trying to do everything I can to avoid going on medication," Parrot said.
Health experts say she's on the right track.
"Often times if people work with diet and exercise weight loss they can control their blood pressure without having to go on medication," Internal Medicine Physician Janell Powell said.
Even a short amount of exercise can make a difference.
If you look at your day for the most part most of us can find 15 to 20 minutes that we can spare to do some type of of an exercise or a relaxation technique just to help that overall stress reduction," Janell said.
Along with Tai chi, Parrot makes sure she takes a break from work to go for a walk outside.
"Get away from the office to get a little relaxation in such when I am walking so I will do a mile or a mile and a half every day at lunch and then walk the dog at night." Parrot said.