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How to exercise to lower blood pressure

How to exercise to lower blood pressure


Effects of high blood pressure more than half Percentage of American adult population. This is a leading cause of stroke and heart attack, but often there are no obvious early symptoms.

One of the best ways to prevent high blood pressure and lower your blood pressure is to exercise (and improved eating habits). Part of the reason is that continuous and frequent exercise encourages your body to form new capillaries.

“It's like creating an extra release valve in your heart,” said John Bauer, director of educational content for the International Sports Science Association. “So there is less pressure on the existing blood vessels.”

But which exercises are the most effective? Many studies show that yoga, sit on the wall and cardiovascular exercise Particularly helpful in lowering blood pressure. tai chi This is also a gentle, low-stress exercise. some research It is said to be especially good for high blood pressure.

“Any type of exercise is beneficial, but the most important thing is the framework you put around it,” said Dr. Lili Barosh, chair of sports cardiology and associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University.

In this framework, you need to follow some rules regarding intensity, regularity, effective warm-up, etc., and include regular consultation with a doctor. A spike in blood pressure can cause a health emergency, but other effects are more subtle. If you feel light-headed or dizzy, stop immediately and consult your health care provider.

If you suffer from high blood pressure and don't exercise (or don't exercise at all), Bauer says you should warm up longer than you would otherwise. Spend at least 10 minutes at that low intensity and aim for a perceived exertion level of about 3 out of 10.

“When you go from rest to work quickly, your heart rate and blood pressure increase even more,” he said.

But when you're ready, don't be afraid to get your heart rate up. “As long as your blood pressure is not significantly elevated, it is safe to receive treatment. brisk walkFor example,” Dr. Barosh said. It could also mean walking faster. hiking on the trail or Load capacity.

Instead of focusing strictly on your heart rate, pay attention to how your body feels. This is especially true if you are taking blood pressure medication. That's because some blood pressure medications can slow down your heart's response, which can derail your goals.

If you're concerned about your blood pressure or are new to fitness, don't jump too quickly. high intensity interval training, causing more rapid fluctuations in heart rate and blood pressure. You should also avoid exercises that require you to quickly get up and down from the floor, like burpees, says Dr. Melissa Tracy, a cardiologist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

“Burpees use a lot of muscles and require you to change posture, so your muscles may not be able to breathe properly,” she said. However, with consistent exercise and normal blood pressure, burpees can become a long-term goal.

Dr. Tracy says the same thing applies when lifting heavy objects, when you can involuntarily hold your breath due to the effort. “When you have high blood pressure, less blood returns to the heart, which can lower your blood pressure,” she added. “When you exhale, your heart rate spikes and your blood pressure can overshoot.”

When your body gets used to exercise, gradually increase Routine difficulty that allows for continued progress. “As time goes on, you can increase your pace, swing your arms, add inclines, find another way It’s to get your heart rate up,” Dr. Tracy said.

After you finish your workout, be sure to allow enough time to cool down and allow your heart rate and blood pressure to return to baseline.

In general, aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise, unless you can't fit it into your day. “Even if you have to do it in small increments, like 10 to 15 minutes, you'll still see some improvement in blood pressure,” Dr. Baroush said.

Once you get used to exercising for 30 minutes at a time, you can increase your blood pressure benefits even further by moving up to about 60 minutes. “Then there's no harm, but there's probably no added value as far as blood pressure is concerned,” Dr. Barosh added.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention It is recommended At least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, 75 minutes vigorous aerobic exercise Or some combination every week. While that may be your goal, it may not be realistic to reach that level while you're starting your fitness routine. “For some people, exercising several times a week is not a goal in itself,” Bauer said.

While it may be tempting to cram all your exercise into a weekend, that's not the best way to lower your blood pressure. Instead, aim to move your body intentionally most days. “It's a more effective approach than being a weekend warrior,” says Dr. Barosh.

Finally, if you have high blood pressure, it's important to consult your doctor before trying a new exercise regimen. Also, remember that not everyone can manage high blood pressure with lifestyle changes alone.

However, if continued consistently, your exercise habits can begin to lower your blood pressure. Minimum 4 weeks. Research has not definitively proven that one form is better than another. So choose the exercises you enjoy the most. more likely to continue.

Amanda Loudin is a freelance writer covering health and science.




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