Somebody has rightly said exercise is free and enjoyable while treatment is expensive and painful. Doing exercise, no matter how little the duration or intensity are, helps reducing high blood pressure.
As per American College of Sports Medicine, any amount of physical activity, even low intensity exercise like walking can reduce blood pressure. If you are not into exercise, it’s time to rethink your lifestyle choice.
Many people sulk at the mention of exercises. Exercise does not mean you do physical activity like running, jumping or weight lifting at peak of your capacity. A simple stroll and stretching your body, which everybody can do, are also exercises.
A single workout session can decrease your systolic blood pressure by 5 mm/hg and diastolic blood pressure by 3 points. Regular exercises can directly lower your blood pressure by 4 to 15%.
The benefits of exercise can’t be underscored. It has score of health benefits; lowering high blood pressure is just one of them. Exercises help heart pump blood better. Arteries of body get dilated and they able to carry blood saturated with oxygen and other nutrients to different parts of the body efficiently. Blood circulation improves and that lower the blood pressure.
Exercises also provide indirectly help in lowering high blood pressure. Regular exercise increases your tendency to choose healthy diet, improves stress control, betters functioning of brain, allows you to have sound quality sleep. All these factors lower blood pressure.
Often many people with hypertensions think exercises only work for younger people. This is a mistaken belief. No matter your age, exercise is going to improve your bodily function.
If you are averse to exercise, you can simplify your routine so that it can contain your hypertension. A simple act of standing instead of sitting lower blood pressure by a couple mm/hg. When you stand up earth’s gravitational force does its magic. It pulls blood from upper part to lower parts of your body.
Going to nearby grocery or ATM by walking instead of taking your car can have positive impact on your high blood pressure. Similarly, you can take the stairs instead of taking the lift when you go to office or mall. The idea is to add some physical activities to your routine to control your blood pressure.
However, these physical activities can’t bring same benefit to your high blood pressure situation than what a workout does. Some selected exercises have massive benefits. I assure you they are not hard Anybody can do these exercises.
Exercises that benefit high blood pressure are of two types: Aerobic exercises and strength training.
Aerobic simply means ‘with oxygen’. This type of exercises is geared towards cardiovascular conditioning. Examples of this type of exercises are walking, jogging, swimming, squats, lunges, running, stretching rope jumping etc. Some warm ups before workouts and periodical rest for few seconds are required if you are a person with high blood pressure. Always discuss your plan with your physician before embracing exercise routine.
Aerobic exercises help carry oxygenated blood due to rapid breathing to different parts of the body. They keep your lungs, heart and circulatory system healthy. There will be better flow of blood throughout body due to increase in diameter of arteries.
Another way aerobic exercise helps lowering blood pressure is by using the Nitric Oxide in the body. Nitric Oxide is a molecule present in human body. But people with high blood pressure can’t use it efficiently. So, when you do exercise, nitric oxide is released and it relaxes arteries that carry blood.
Effect of aerobic exercise last for 24 hours. However, if done regularly, it could have long lasting positive effect on blood pressure. Anyway, exercise is much better solution that taking medication in that the former beside controlling blood pressure, improves overall health. It’s recommended to do aerobic exercise at least 30 minutes a day for at least 5 day a week.
There is not much research work available on strength training. But of late it is gaining popularity because a study found that the impact of strength training, unlike aerobic exercise, can be permanent. Further it has been discovered that the drop-in blood pressure due to strength training is higher than aerobic exercise.
The downside of the research is that the experiment was conducted under medical supervision. If you plan to do strength training like weight lifting consult your doctor first. Lifting heavy instruments can be very risky. So, don’t do any heavy weight lift workout, bench press or leg press stuff without medical supervision.
Static strength training could be better alternative which are far less risky and result is better. It is becoming popular due it’s nature of minimum effort and maximum result. 15 minutes a day for 3 days week is sufficient to keep blood pressure under control.
Some static strength exercises that lower blood pressure are squeezing hand grip dynamometer/squeezing hand into fist, dead hang, low squat, bar hanging, dumbbell curl and wall site are some very simple static strength training. Hand grip dynamometer and low squat are experimentally proven to lower blood pressure instantly.
Some people like a concurrent exercise plan – combining both aerobic exercise and strength training. Combining both types of exercises in single workout has not proven to be bad. However, research proven that doing strength training first and following it with aerobic exercises is result in highest drop in blood pressure than doing aerobic first and strength training next.
Concurrent workout plan is better for controlling blood pressure and ensuring overall health. If you do both type of exercises in your workouts then take a day or two off a week to ensure your limbs are not overstressed.
Exercise must not be considered as burden. It is not specifically for patients. Healthy people do it too. It won’t be exaggeration to say they are healthy because they do exercise or physical activity regularly. You can too utilize amazing benefits of exercise. No matter of your age, it’s never too late to start exercising and reap the benefits.