For many, regular physical activity and exercise is as good a treatment for high blood pressure as medication. Learn how exercise lowers blood pressure.
And then, it helps against many other diseases and ailments, and it provides well-being if you find a suitable form of exercise.
High blood pressure and hypertension affect 10-15 percent of the adult population and are essential risk factors for stroke and heart attack.
The risk of getting high blood pressure increases with age, but exercise can prevent this. And, if your blood pressure is already too high, then training can give you control over it. A healthy diet and more activity need not require much time or effort. You do not have to follow strict diets or exercise hard, and some simple changes in everyday life are often needed.
How can exercise lower blood pressure?
How are high blood pressure and exercise linked? Regular physical activity makes your heart more robust, and a stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort. When the heart uses less force to pump blood around the circulation, the power against the artery wall inside the arteries can decrease, and the blood pressure drops.
You can lower your systolic blood pressure (hypertension) by 5 to 10 mm Hg (mercury) by being more active, and it is as good as many blood pressure medications. For some, exercise will reduce or completely replace the need for blood pressure medication.
If your blood pressure is at the desired level, i.e., lower than 140/90 or preferably below 130/80, exercise will prevent it from rising. Regular exercise also helps you maintain a healthy weight, another important factor in controlling blood pressure. Along with a healthy diet, it will also give you a more favorable composition of the fat in your blood.
But to keep your blood pressure low, you need to keep exercising. It takes approximately three months from the time you start the regular exercise until it has a beneficial effect on your blood pressure, and the gain lasts only as long as you continue to exercise.
How much do you need to exercise?
To get in better shape, you need to move more. Seize every opportunity to use your legs instead of other transportation. Feel free to make a simple plan for how you can move more.
Stretching and strength exercises such as lifting weights are a vital part of an exercise plan. Still, you must engage in fitness activities (aerobic exercise) to gain control of your blood pressure. And you do not have to work for hours every day, and it is often enough that you incorporate moderate physical activity into your daily routines.
Any physical activity that increases your heart rate and breathing rate is aerobic exercise. It includes:
- Walk or bike
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Snow removal is strength training
- Gardening provides good exercise
- Housework and car washing also provide good exercise
- Active sports
- Jog or run
Aim to perform aerobic activities for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. If you can not set aside that much time, then shorter sessions will also help. For example, 3 x 10-minute sessions achieve the same sound effect as a 30-minute session.