The Genies in Your Bottle


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My father had high blood pressure. I remember how bad it was because it very nearly killed him in his mid-fifties, before he got it under control with the help of  prescription drugs.

About four years ago, at age 53, I went in for my annual physical. My Doctor took my blood pressure and it was high – 140 over 98. The prior year, as in all prior years, it had been 120 over 80. He did another reading and then a third reading at my insistence. No change – 140 over 98. Naturally, he was concerned and recommended that I begin a regimen of statin drugs to combat my high blood pressure.

I demurred and said I would fix this naturally. To allay his fears, I scheduled another physical in six months and told my Doctor that if my blood pressure did not come down by that time I would consider his pharmaceutical remedy.

Over the next six months I did the following:

  • Daily Running (Aerobics) – My goal was to run a minimum of 20 minutes every day. After three weeks I was able to increase that to 30 minutes or more a day. Over the weekends, I ran about 80 minutes.
  • Lifting Weights (Anaerobics) – I lifted three days a week for about 40 minutes per session.
  • Healthy Diet – I stopped eating breakfast and ate mostly vegetables for lunch. I asked my wife to include one or more vegetables with our dinner and add some fish. I had a Poor Habit of drinking between one to three beers a night. I cut back on my drinking.

At my six-month physical, my blood pressure had dropped from 140 over 98 to 118 over 78. Also, my Doctor pointed out that my weight had dropped from 190 pounds, six months ago, to 181 pounds.

“How did you do it?” He asked.

I told him I had turned my bad genes off and my good genes on.

I explained to my Doctor that one of the three businesses I ran required me to do habit research and that this habit research involved a need in understanding how habits affect the body and the brain.

Thanks to my habit research, I knew that I could turn off my father’s bad high blood pressure genes and turn on other good genes which would act like sentinels, keeping those bad genes in check.

The trick to turning off bad genes and turning on good genes is forging certain good health habits:

  • Intermittent Fasting – 12 hours or more without eating.
  • Reducing Junk Food – Bread, Pasta, Alcohol, Processed Foods, etc.
  • Eating Healthy Food – Two-thirds of the food you consume every day should be vegetables, low-sugar fruit (apples, avocados, non-ripe bananas, grapefruit, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries), salads, fish, grass-fed beef, olive oil, pasture-raised chicken and turkey, etc.
  • Daily Aerobics – For me this was running 20 minutes a day. But you can substitute fast walking, biking, swimming, etc. The key is to get your heart rate up to the 130-140 range.
  • Anaerobic Exercise – For me this was lifting weights. But you can substitute resistance exercises, high intensity impact training, core exercises, etc. . daily aerobics and alternating anaerobicsand daily exercise

Epigenetics is a word that describes how your lifestyle can affect gene expression. Your lifestyle can turn genes on (Methylation) or off (Demethylation).

We are all born with bad genes and good genes. Your lifestyle can turn bad genes on or off. Your lifestyle can also turn good genes on or off.

Forging good health habits keeps the bad genies in your bottle and sets the good genies free.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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  1. Lisa Schreiber says:

    Awesome post! I follow all of these suggestions, and I have reduced my weight by 30 pounds and have kept it off. I had my blood pressure checked last week and it was 108 over 72. So, I am sticking with this program!

  2. Ken Winterholt says:

    I had a similar experience, March/2015 ,my Dr told me I had cancer. After lots of tests, surgery and 30 days of radiation treatment. The cancer was gone. I weighed 250 lbs. When I returned to work ,a radio program was talking about obesity in truck drivers and the benefits of the Keto Diet. Within three months I lost 30 lbs and kept it off for going on 3.5 years. Cancer scares the shit out of me and I made the necessary adjustments. Please keep up the good work Tom I enjoy your daily blog and applying them to my life. Thank you.

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