There is plenty of evidence to suggest that neglecting to get the recommended amount of exercise each week can have the effect of raising a person’s blood pressure so it seems reasonable to assume that for those who already have high blood pressure, exercise can actually help bring it down to a more normal level.
So what’s the science behind the exercise-pressure link? Well, it is quite simple really; the stronger your heart is, the more blood it can pump with less exertion which means the force the arteries are loaded with decreases and thus blood pressure becomes gradually lower.
The sad fact of life is that as we get older, our hearts become ever weaker which is why the more senior generations tend to have higher blood pressure than younger generations.
Regular exercise can help keep the heart muscles stronger for longer and prevent someone’s blood pressure getting too high. It has been shown that exercise actually does as good a job at lowering blood pressure than the drugs often prescribed by doctors.
Types of Exercise
A well-rounded exercise regime will include strength training using weights and flexibility sessions but to achieve the pressure-stabilising effects of exercise, you need to focus on the aerobics (that is those that require significant rises in heart rate) such as jogging or cycling.
The benefits can be seen even with very moderate exercise and you needn’t think that you have to go to the gym or buy expensive equipment. No, in fact, you can get your breathing and heart rates up by doing household activities such as vacuuming, cleaning the floor or scrubbing the bathroom.
But often the easiest way to get the heart pumping more is to go for a walk. As a society, we have become far too reliant on our cars to get us around and too many of us use one even for journeys of a mile or less. Ditching the car and walking that distance at a decent pace instead will be plenty to get the pulse racing.
Around 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week is the general guideline or you may substitute this for 75 minutes of more vigorous training if time is of the essence for you.
Consult A Doctor
If you suffer from a high blood pressure of any other condition which you think might be affected by exercise, consult your doctor beforehand and explain what you want to do.
He or she will be able to work with you to come up with a plan of action so that you can get the benefits without putting yourself at any risk.