Hypertension, defined as chronically elevated blood pressure greater than 140/90 mmHg, is one of the most common conditions affecting people of all age groups.
More often than not, doctors always recommend a high BP patient to be more active. Ever wondered why?
Physical activity not only helps control BP, but also helps manage weight. Exercise strengthens your heart and helps manage your stress levels.
Regular physical activity will provide more health benefits than intermittent high intensity workouts. So, you must specifically choose exercises you love doing so it becomes easier for you to incorporate into your daily routine.
At times you may feel that exercise will increase your blood pressure to dangerous levels. While it is true that physical activity will cause your blood pressure to rise for a short time, it’ll come back to normal once you stop the session. Lesser the time gap between the BP rise and fall, the fitter you are likely to be.
Most people with high BP should be able to increase their physical activity levels quite safely.
How Exercise Helps Lower Blood Pressure
Exercise helps lower blood pressure by helping you lose weight and keeping your heart and blood vessels in good condition. When you work out, the blood flow to your muscles increases. Good blood flow will increase your insulin sensitivity. As blood flow to working muscles increases, it causes an immediate drop in blood pressure. In this case the body responds quickly, increasing heart rate and cardiac output to maintain blood pressure at the level required.
How Must a Person with High BP Exercise?
There is no explicit exercise regimen pertaining to BP patients. But, daily activities like walking around in the garden; climbing the stairs, brisk walk after meals, doing moderate household work are very beneficial. You can also include jogging, swimming, cycling, and aerobics on a regular basis.
The best work out for someone with hypertension is to start walking. Walk for 30-45 minutes, five or six days a week. It can be combined it with activities like swimming or cycling, resistance exercises etc. You need to give yourself at least one to three months of regular exercise to see the effect on your BP.
Talk with your physician before beginning any kind of program.
When doing physical activities, your heart rate and breathing elevates than normal, but ensure you are still able to easily carry on a conversation at such times.
Focus on doing something that gets your heart rate up to a moderate level. But don't overdo or exert yourself.
Most important tip while exercising
Warm up and cool down – Warming up before exercise and cooling down afterwards is essential for your heart as it moves gradually from rest to activity and back again. Keep aside at least 10 minutes for warm-up. A little longer for older adults.
Cool down is especially important. If you stop exercising too quickly, your blood pressure can drop sharply, which can be dangerous and can also cause muscle cramping. Adding some relaxing yoga poses to your routine will increase your flexibility.
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