Lowering High Blood Pressure With Exercise

Lowering High Blood Pressure With Exercise


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The conveniences of the modern world have tended to have an adverse impact on people’s overall activity levels. Inactivity is linked to high blood pressure, and a doctor is very likely to recommend exercise as an alternative to blood pressure lowering drugs. High blood pressure can result in a stroke, heart attack and heart disease, so the introduction of exercise into a daily routine can be highly beneficial. Regular exercise can strengthen the heart, requiring less effort to pump more blood around the body. This, in turn, reduces the force applied to the arteries, lowering blood pressure.

Aerobic Exercises To Lower Blood Pressure

Aerobic activities help improve the cardiovascular efficiency within the body. Walking, jogging, cycling and swimming are good examples of an aerobic exercise that will elevate the heart rate but should not necessarily be so strenuous as to prevent conversation. Everyday tasks such as housework and gardening can also help. Small bursts of intense exercise such as sprints and heavy weights though can be detrimental since they quickly raise the blood pressure levels, putting extra strain on the heart and the blood vessels. All exercise will initially raise blood pressure for a short period, but this should soon return to normal when finished. As someone gets fitter the quicker this return will be, but before taking on any new exercise regime, it is always best to discuss with a doctor.

How Much Exercise is Required

It is recommended that an adult should look to do 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 times a week. To some this may sound a lot, to others with busy lifestyles, this may sound unworkable. Indeed 30 minutes may not be possible in one go for someone who has been relatively inactive for some time. Splitting the 30 minutes into attainable amounts such as 3 lots of 10 minutes across the day can seem a more realistic target. This helps the body and mind adjust and help build up the strength to the point that 30 minutes can be done in one go. Enjoying the activity will make it much more likely to be completed and persevered with. Exercise should not be seen as a punishment or people will gradually give it up, so finding an activity that is enjoyable is important. Exercising as a group can also be more motivating then exercising alone.

Little Everyday Changes

Exercise can be incorporated into the day in many other little ways which are not so structured. Minor adjustments to routines can add some exercise without huge amounts of effort. Getting off the bus a stop early, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking short distances and leaving the car at home are all simple ways without any real planning that can inject a little extra exercise into the day. Even giving the dog a slightly longer walk all adds up and if your work is fairly sedentary get up every now and again and stretch the legs.
High blood pressure and a lack of exercise are closely related. However by adding just 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day combined with a healthy diet can help control it in a drug-free manner.

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