There has been an age-old debate about whether exercising is good to combat high blood pressure. While most people are inclined towards the positive impact of exercise on high blood pressure, others don't think likewise.
Some people consider exercise bad for high blood pressure, as exercising tends to have a significant impact on the heart rate. So, the question remains, whether we should exercise with high blood pressure or not.
This article will help in better understanding both the positive and negative effects of exercise on high blood pressure.
Should You Exercise If You Have High Blood Pressure?
Some of the most common reasons behind high blood pressure tend to be ageing, high stress levels, obesity, or poor lifestyle choices, such as lack of exercise, disturbed sleep and poor diet. The factors mentioned above for high blood pressure, except ageing, can be effectively controlled. Small changes to your lifestyle can make a major difference to your health.
So yes, exercising regularly is good for high blood pressure and is often recommended by medical professionals. In fact, lack of exercise and physical activity is one of the most common reasons for high blood pressure.
Regular exercise can not only help control high blood pressure, but it can also help in controlling other risk factors associated with it, including efficient weight management, reduced stress levels and strengthening of the heart. Good heart health, a healthy weight and lower stress levels are better for your blood pressure and overall fitness.
Therefore, it's essential that you take charge of your activity level to work on your fitness. You don't need to spend an hour in the gym for good health. Rather, moderately intense exercises done regularly, such as brisk walking or yoga, can be beneficial for both high blood pressure and overall body fitness.
How Exercise Can Lower Your Blood Pressure?
Studies have shown that regular exercise helps in strengthening your heart and boosting your cardio respiratory fitness. A stronger heart pumps blood throughout your body with less effort, reducing the pressure on the arteries. That can eventually lead to better upkeep of heart health and maintenance of blood pressure.
Normal blood pressure in humans tends to be 120/80 mm; exceeding this number results in high blood pressure. Studies have shown that regular exercise and becoming more active can help in reducing blood pressure and maintaining it.
Exercising regularly can also help maintain a healthy weight and reduce excess weight, another key way to lower your blood pressure. However, you need to exercise regularly to reap all the benefits. It'll take some time for regular exercise to affect your blood pressure. Furthermore, the benefits of exercise last only as long as you exercise.
Precautions for Exercising During High Blood Pressure
There are several precautions that people with high blood pressure should follow before jumping straight into the exercise circuit.
You should consult a medical professional if you suffer from any chronic diseases or if you're on medication that might affect your body’s response to exercise. While exercising, if you feel chest pain, dizziness, too much shortness of breath or lightheadedness, immediately stop exercising. Consult with medical professionals if that's a regular occurrence.
Exercises for High Blood Pressure
To maintain your blood pressure, you should aim to incorporate aerobic activity in your lifestyle. You don't need a high intensity workout, just some moderate intensity workout that can increase your breathing and heart rate. That will help in boosting and maintaining your cardiorespiratory fitness.
The exercises you can try for high blood pressure are brisk walking, dancing, skating, bicycling, swimming, hiking, jumping rope, rowing, active sports and more. Weight and strength training along with aerobic activity can provide more benefits for a healthy heart. Therefore, as you advance in the training circuit, you can gradually move towards more advanced exercises.
Exercise is one of the best steps you can take to maintain blood pressure, as it also helps in controlling other factors that are responsible for high blood pressure. You can consult medical professionals to learn about any limitations of the body.
It's also important to start steadily, and gradually increase the intensity of your training circuit. Also, start with warm-up exercises beforehand, and complete stretches after the workout. You can also track your progress by regularly measuring your blood pressure.
Q. How many times do you exercise in a week?