Exercises That Lower High Blood Pressure
It is estimated that 1.3 billion people in the world have hypertension. It is also one of the major causes of premature death, whether in the first-world or in developing countries. The alarming thing is that most of the time, it doesn’t need to be treated with medication. Doctors almost often advise lifestyle changes to lower high blood pressure, so why are the statistics still high?
Lower high blood pressure with these exercises
This is because many people are neglecting physical activity. Nowadays, there are plenty of innovations that entice us to stay glued in our seats.
However, the key to battling hypertension is regular physical activity.
Importance of Exercise for Hypertensive People
The heart is a muscle that requires constant exercise for it to become stronger. It’s just like lifting weights to strengthen your arm muscles or doing crunches to strengthen your abdomen.
A strong heart can pump more blood effortlessly, so it doesn’t have to work as hard. As a result, the pressure in the arteries decreases, and so does your blood pressure.
Regular exercise is said to lower your systolic blood pressure by up to 9 mm Hg—that’s almost the same as taking medications. In fact, a study showed that physical activity can reduce the blood pressure of people with resistant hypertension (high blood pressure that doesn’t respond well to medical treatment).
Aside from lowering your blood pressure, here are the benefits of exercising regularly:
- Reduces the risk of heart diseases. Exercise keeps your heart healthy and regulates good blood flow throughout your body. This makes it easier for oxygenated blood to reach all of your organs, reducing your risk of contracting cardiac diseases, heart attacks, and stroke.
- Balances blood sugar levels. Engaging in any physical activity every day can help you manage your blood sugar levels. This will lower your risk of developing diseases like diabetes.
- Controls weight and prevents obesity. A common cause of hypertension is obesity, whether it’s in children or adults. Regular exercise will help you control your weight and shed unwanted pounds.
- Improves your mood and mental health. Any activity that makes you break a sweat triggers your body to release endorphins, the happy hormone. This helps improve your mood and overall mental health. In fact, it is proven to help with depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more.
- Strengthens your bones. People who exercised earlier in their lives have stronger bones. As a result, they are less susceptible to bone loss when they reach their 30s.
Best Types of Exercise
Any kind of exercise is great for your health. You don’t need to go to the gym or buy fancy sports equipment to be able to achieve it. What you need to do is to be consistent and engage in physical activity every day.
Before deciding on the type of workout that you want to do, the most important thing to consider is to make sure that you’re having fun.
So, think about the activities that you enjoy doing and whether you want to do them alone or with a group.
There are three types of exercise, namely:
- Aerobic exercise. Also known as cardio exercise, this type is aimed at making your heart stronger. Examples include swimming, cycling, walking, and rowing.
- Strength building. This type of exercise helps you build muscle strength. Some examples include weightlifting, squats, crunches, and Pilates.
- Flexibility exercise. This type increases your flexibility, improves your balance, and helps prevent injuries. Examples are yoga, tai chi, and stretching exercises.
You can do these exercises at home with minimal equipment. There are a lot of resources online as well as communities that can help you get started.
Physical Workouts That Lower High Blood Pressure
These are the types of workouts that you can do to lower your blood pressure:
Doing several laps in a pool three times a week can help lower high blood pressure. Some studies even found that swimming has the same effects as cycling and running.
You can slowly transition from light swimming to doing intensive laps several times a week.
This is perhaps the easiest physical activity that you can incorporate into your routine. 30 minutes of brisk walking can significantly help in lowering your blood pressure.
You can achieve this by taking the stairs instead of riding the elevator. If your house is near your workplace, you can opt to walk there instead as well.
Aside from strengthening your muscles, cycling also reduces your blood pressure. You can do it on the weekends with fellow cycling enthusiasts and go for long-distance rides.
Or you can take your bike to work and ditch your car.
Consistency Is Key
When you’re exercising, it’s important to remember that consistency is key. Whatever physical activity you’re planning to do, make sure that you do it every day.
You can start with light exercises then gradually move to intensive workouts. Don’t forget to warm up and cool down before and after each workout session.
Battling hypertension is more of modifying your lifestyle and making healthier choices. One of the best ways to do this is by regularly exercising.
Before doing any intensive exercise – even if it is to lower high blood pressure – make sure to check with your doctor first. They will help you determine what type of physical activities are best suited for your condition.
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