Exercise: A Natural Method to Reduce or Control High Blood Pressure
When was the last time you worked up a sweat? Ideally, any form of physical activity or exercise should form an all-important part of life. However, it is not always the case. We tend to give it a miss when, in fact, it should get the priority. After all, health is wealth. When you are healthy, your vital organs remain in good condition for your body to function to the T. Therefore, practicing some form of exercise daily is imperative.
Now, if recently diagnosed with high blood pressure, one of the effective ways to bring it under control is – exercise! Exercise lowers your blood pressure and boosts the effectiveness of blood pressure medication if diagnosed with secondary hypertension. You don’t have to run a marathon or become an athlete but, you can put the fun back in exercise with an activity that pumps your adrenaline for at least 30 minutes in a day.
How Does Exercise Benefit The Body?
Regular exercise improves your muscle strength and boosts endurance. On the other hand, it also delivers oxygen and other vital nutrients to your tissues and helps improve the efficiency of your cardiovascular system. In short, physical activity improves your heart and lung health and gives you the energy to go about your daily chores.
How Does Exercise Benefit The Mind?
While exercise for high BP is essential, it also takes care of your mind and its health. When you exercise, you will observe a positive impact on your overall outlook and reduced stress levels. You will also see an improvement in your memory, in sleep patterns, and in your overall peace of mind as well.
How To Control High Blood Pressure With Exercise?
It’s simple. Exercise or regular physical activity increases the strength of your heart so it can pump more blood to the body with the least effort. It exerts less pressure on the arteries, thus lowering blood pressure.
If you want to know how to reduce blood pressure quickly, lifestyle modifications are the answer, of which exercise is pivotal. It can lower the systolic blood pressure by an average of 4-9 mmHg and sometimes negate the need for high blood pressure medications.
Exercise not only helps to keep your blood pressure at a desirable level, less than or equal to 120/80 mmHg, but also prevents it from rising. It even keeps your weight in check, which is another way to keep blood pressure under control.
However, the expected results aren’t possible unless you practice some form of exercise regularly. The benefits of daily physical activity on your blood pressure readings last as long as you continue to do so. You can take your pick from multiple aerobic or cardiovascular exercises like:
You can even take up some household chores, such as gardening or scrubbing the floor. If you want to hit the gym and practice weight training, you should remember the following :
- Learn the proper form: Weight training requires proper technique to reduce the risk of injury. Therefore, learn from experts and ensure you use the correct form of exercise and method.
- Breathe in, breathe out: Do not hold your breath under any circumstances, especially when weight training. It can cause a dangerous spike in blood pressure. So, use the correct breathing technique while doing your exercises.
- Lift lighter weights: Remember, it isn’t a competition. You are weight training to maintain your ideal weight and also lower blood pressure in the process. So, life lighter weights under supervision to avoid exertion and muscle strain.
- Keep a watch on your body: If you find yourself breathless or dizzy or experience chest pain, stop with the activity right away. Do not exert yourself to the point of no return. Always listen to your body and don’t overdo anything.
Note: Remember to warm up and cool down before performing any physical task or activity.
Beyond exercise, eat well-balanced, low sodium, and high fibre diet. You can also practice stress management techniques like yoga and meditation to release stress and calm your senses. All of this together can help lower blood pressure and maintain your overall health. To be safe, before performing any physical activity or exercise, consult your cardiologist or doctor once and follow a doctor-approved exercise regimen. Always keep it safe to avoid the risk of injury and other complications.
Note of Caution: This article is for information purpose only. Always consult your doctor in case of any blood pressure or other health-related problems.