KEEPING HEALTHY: One of the things you can try to lower your blood pressure is Yoga, which helps you relax, reduces stress, and boosts flexibility and balance (Image: 10'000 Hours/Getty Images)
A fitness business owner has shared a series of exercises with the public to help UK residents lower their blood pressure to coincide with World Heart Day (September 29). The day seeks to raise awareness of cardiovascular diseases, providing information to help reduce our chances of being diagnosed.
Blood Pressure UK research has shown that roughly two-thirds of UK residents aged 30 to 50 may live with undiagnosed high blood pressure. It means they could be at risk of serious health issues, including heart attacks, strokes, or heart failure. By lowering your blood pressure with exercise, you can boost your cardiovascular health.
Gavin Cowper, an exercise expert and the owner of Exersci, has shared a list of exercises that are good for lowering your blood pressure. Gavin said it's 'essential' to consult your healthcare provider before getting stuck into a new exercise program, particularly if you have hypertension or other medical conditions.
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They can offer 'personalised recommendations' and monitor your progress. You should 'start gradually' and 'listen to your body' to avoid overexertion, aiming for 'consistency' in your exercise routine for long-term blood pressure management.
Aerobic (cardio) exercises
- Aerobic exercises raise your heart rate, strengthen it and boost blood vessel function.
- Brisk walking: You could start with a warm-up before walking at a brisk pace for at least 30 minutes on most weekdays.
- Running or jogging: You could gradually build up your running routine to at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity each week.
- Cycling: You could ride a bike at a moderate to vigorous intensity for 150 minutes per week.
Strength training (resistance) exercises
- It's worth remembering that resistance exercises build muscle; this can boost your metabolism and cardiovascular health.
- Bodyweight exercises: Try push-ups, squats, lunges, and planks.
- Weight lifting: You could also try free weights or resistance machines to target major muscle groups, aiming for two to three sessions each week.
- Yoga promotes relaxation, reduces stress, and boosts flexibility and balance, lowering blood pressure.
- How to do it: You could join yoga classes or follow tutorials on the internet, focusing on deep breathing, stretching, and relaxation.
- Tai chi combines gentle movements with deep breathing, reducing stress and boosting circulation.
- How to do it: You could join a Tai chi class or follow instructional videos to learn the movements and practice regularly.
- Swimming offers a full-body workout but remains easy on your joints; it can also lower your blood pressure.
- How to do it: You could try swimming laps or join water aerobics for at least 150 minutes each week.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
- HIIT is quick bursts of intense exercise followed by short rest breaks.
- How to do it: You can add high-intensity intervals, including sprinting, into your cardio workouts before slowly raising intensity and duration.
Stretching and flexibility exercises
- Stretching exercises like dynamic stretching and gentle yoga can boost blood flow, lower muscle tension, and help with stress.
- How to do it: Add stretches into your warm-up and cool-down, focussing on the major muscle groups.
Submitted by Thrive Media Group