We’re probably all well aware of it by now. An increasingly sedentary lifestyle is one of Britain’s silent killers. Days spent chained to the desk, stooped over a computer or peering into a phone certainly do no favours at all for our eyes, our waistline, our backs or our blood pressure. Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimise the impact of a sedentary lifestyle, all by simply setting aside a few minutes each day for some physical activity.
Indeed, a sedentary lifestyle is one of the biggest contributors to high blood pressure. It goes without saying, then, that exercise can not only reduce but control it. The good news is that you don’t have to be running marathons every day or benching big numbers to reduce your blood pressure. All that’s required is moderate activity and a concerted effort to shift those sedentary tendencies. In fact, even half an hour of physical activity daily does wonders in improving your overall health. It may seem difficult at first, but once exercise becomes a part of your lifestyle, there’s no turning back; you’ll now develop that healthy lifestyle that you wish you could’ve started earlier before.
With this in mind, here are 4 IDEAL exercises to help reduce blood pressure.
Different kinds of exercise and activity have different effects on your body. If you have high blood pressure and are looking to lower it, focus on activities that will help your heart and blood vessels. When this positive result is achieved, diseases related to your blood pressure level, such as pulmonary hypertension, are kept at bay. Learn more about this disease here.
Aerobic activity is one of the best types of exercises to help your heart, and you should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week for best results. That means walking, swimming, dancing, and jogging. If you’re new to pounding the tarmac, make sure you stretch well beforehand and have running shoes with the correct ankle and knee support. Should you be particularly prone to injury or sore limbs, then an insole, such as Magneto 500 Plus, will save you from those debilitating aches and pains the next day.
Yep, the reasons to devote more time to aerobic exercise are myriad:
- Since it’s relatively easy to perform and you don’t need to invest in specialist equipment, it’s easy to get started.
- Your respiration efficiency improves.
- Your overall cardiovascular health is going to be positively affected.
- Your blood sugar levels are well regulated.
- Your feelings of stress and anxiety are reduced, keeping your overall well-being in good hands, too.
Who doesn’t find at least a little tension released when stretching your hands skyward? You know, that over-exaggerated yawn we’ve all seen a million times on cartoons? Well, studies suggest that carrying out regular stretching exercises may help reduce your risk of high blood pressure. Stiff arteries (blood vessels) increase your risk of developing higher blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease. So start stretching those muscles and touch your toes if you want to keep your heart healthy.
Speaking of stretching, according to the NHS, evidence suggests that regular yoga practice is beneficial for people with high blood pressure. And you don’t have to be able to twist into pretzel shapes and contort your body something holy to enjoy the physical benefits of a good yoga session. There are, however, certain yoga poses to avoid if you have high blood pressure, namely inversions, as when the head is below the heart, there’s an increased risk of stroke. While aerobic activities – like walking, dancing, jogging, riding your bike, and swimming are best for your heart, a holistic combination of yoga and exercise that gets your heart pumping is perhaps best practice. Of course, you should always consult your doctor before taking up a new exercise regime should you have high blood pressure.
Yep, we know what you’re thinking – household chores aren’t usually considered as exercise. However, chores do in fact count towards calorie busting (90 calories every quarter of an hour, to be exact) and can lower your blood pressure reading when done regularly and with the right enthusiasm.
Of course, a tidy home also equates to a tidy mind, and a lessening of stress is associated with better heart and blood health. A tenuous link perhaps, but one which merits further investigation. The worst that could happen is a cleaner house….there really is no reason not to.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So, now you know; living a healthier lifestyle is easily achieved in four simple steps. Should you have been diagnosed with blood pressure problems, you needn’t be dismayed – it’s not the end of the world nor is it a death sentence. You may be given maintenance medications for you to lower these levels, but there’s so much that you can do by yourself, in simple, manageable ways.
Get started with these four exercises today and start to see the positive changes that it can bring for your body and your overall health.