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REGULAR EXERCISE: A NON-PHARMACOLOGICAL APPROACH TO MANAGE BLOOD PRESSURE


Every year, hypertension, or high blood pressure, contributes to a considerable number of illnesses and deaths globally. For those who don't know, hypertension is a chronic condition where the force of blood against the artery walls is consistently too high. It can lead to grave health problems, such as heart disease and stroke, which are among the leading causes of death in the world today.

group fitness class

While medication often serves as a necessary treatment for managing high blood pressure, lifestyle modifications, particularly regular exercise, are of equal significance. This blog post aims to shed light on the crucial role that physical activity plays in maintaining and improving blood pressure levels, serving as a compelling non-pharmacological approach to this prevalent health issue.


Exercise and Blood Pressure: The Connection


blood pressure and fitness

First, let's try to understand the link between exercise and blood pressure. Regular physical activity makes your heart stronger. A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort. If your heart can work less to pump, the force on your arteries decreases, lowering your blood pressure.



Furthermore, exercise helps in weight management, which is a key factor in controlling blood pressure. Excess weight can increase the heart's workload and stimulate the body to produce hormones that can raise blood pressure.


Which Exercises are Effective?


Before you throw on your sneakers and start your new exercise routine, it’s crucial to understand the types of exercises that can help reduce blood pressure:


1. Aerobic Exercises: These activities increase your heart rate and breathing. Examples include brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, or dancing. Aerobic exercise is great because it helps decrease systolic blood pressure (the first number in a blood pressure reading, signifying the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats).


2. Strength Training: When performed in moderation, strength training can help reduce blood pressure. It's important to remember that heavy weight lifting could potentially increase blood pressure temporarily. So, it's better to lift lighter weights more times than to lift heavy weights few times.


3. Flexibility and Balance Exercises: These won’t directly lower your blood pressure but can help with overall fitness and should be part of any exercise program, such as yoga and tai chi.


4. Dynamic Resistance Exercises: These types of exercises, such as weightlifting or doing push-ups, can also significantly lower blood pressure.


How Much Exercise Do You Need?

group training

According to the American Heart Association, to reap the blood pressure-lowering benefits of exercise, adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week. You can also combine moderate and vigorous activity. Moreover, the association recommends doing strength training exercises at least two days per week.


Precautions While Exercising


While exercise is beneficial for lowering blood pressure, it's crucial to remember that the sudden start of a vigorous exercise program can be risky, especially if you have been inactive or you have heart disease. Consult your healthcare provider before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any health concerns.


Conclusion


Regular exercise is a natural way to help lower your blood pressure and improve your heart health. It's inexpensive, free of side effects, and comes with numerous other health benefits like better mood, stronger muscles, and improved balance. However, it’s important to ensure you’re choosing the right exercises for your current health condition and performing them with proper technique. Your fitness journey should be a lifetime commitment rather than a temporary phase. Remember, when it comes to exercise and health, consistency is key.


In the grand scheme of things, incorporating physical activity into your daily routine is just a piece of the puzzle. Eating a well-balanced diet, moderating alcohol intake, avoiding tobacco, and managing stress are other vital pieces that contribute to the overall picture of good health. These lifestyle changes have the power to enhance your quality of life and potentially add years to your life span. So, tie up those laces, get moving, and take control of your health today. CLICK HERE


Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog post is for general information purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional.

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