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Best Exercises to Lower Blood Pressure
- Author :
- TATA AIG Team
- Published on :
The three essential components of a lifestyle that influence your blood pressure (BP) are eating habits, physical activity, and the amount of sleep you get every night. Unfortunately, most working professionals today find themselves planted behind a desk, and this inactivity takes a toll on an individual’s health. The crux of the matter is simple: lack of physical activity is connected to high blood pressure, and by engaging in regular exercise, one can lower their blood pressure.
The Impact of Exercise on Blood Pressure
Our inactive lifestyles are to be blamed for several health issues that we encounter. This rise in lifestyle diseases is why several financial advisors recommend investing in health insurance early. In addition to investing in a medical insurance plan, individuals can significantly improve their health by exercising regularly.
Exercising regularly improves your heart health which is particularly beneficial for individuals with high blood pressure. When you strengthen your heart, it can pump blood easily, thereby decreasing the force on your arteries and subsequently lowering your blood pressure.
Regular exercise for high blood pressure can also help in losing weight and getting it into a healthy range. Healthy weight management is considered crucial in controlling your blood pressure.
Exercises for High Blood Pressure
Usually, for individuals with high blood pressure, doctors recommend getting 150 minutes of moderate exercise in a week. The exercise to reduce blood pressure will start to show its effect in about three months of consistently working out. Here are some of the best exercises to help reduce your blood pressure:
- *Aerobics Activity *
Aerobics is a form of physical exercise that combines stretching and strength training routines. These essentially include exercises that increase your heart rate and your breathing rate. Some examples of aerobic activities include jogging, walking up the stairs, dancing, etc. The best exercise for high blood pressure is one that gets your heart pumping. Cardiovascular exercises lower your blood pressure and strengthen your heart. And so, cardiovascular exercises are amongst the best type of exercise for high blood pressure.
- Breathing Exercises
With the help of slow and deep breathing exercises, you activate your parasympathetic nervous system. This helps decrease your heart rate and dilates your blood vessels, thereby lowering your blood pressure.
Here is a simple breathing exercise to control high BP:
- Start with exhaling so your lungs feel empty, and then inhale silently through your nose while counting to four
- Hold your breath while counting to seven
- Exhale from your mouth until the count of eight
This BP control exercise is called the 4–7–8 breathing exercise, and it can be done anytime and anywhere.
If you are looking for a convenient and fun exercise, cycling is the perfect fix. Cycling is a highly recommended exercise for high BP individuals, especially since it helps ease the blood pressure stiffness enabling an easier flow of blood. Some research even suggests that regular cycling can help reduce your blood pressure by up to 10 mmHg, which is about as much as some medications.
The American College of Cardiology advises aiming for 40-minute sessions from moderate to vigorous effort each week for the best results. If you don’t own a bike, you can even join a fun spin class to meet your target.
For adults over the age of 60, swimming is considered to be the best exercise for high blood pressure. This is because, with regular swimming, there is a significant reduction in arterial blood pressure, which makes it a highly beneficial exercise to control high BP. To reap the most benefits, it is recommended to swim for at least 30 minutes a day.
Hiking or walking are considered amongst the best type of exercise for high blood pressure. Brisk walking or moderate walking thrice a day for simply ten minutes each time can help reduce the stiffness in the blood vessels to ease the flow of blood. Walking as an exercise for high BP is so beneficial that its effects on blood pressure can be seen immediately after the workout when your blood pressure may be significantly lowered.
- Weight Training
Contrary to popular belief, weight training is a great exercise for high blood pressure. Although strength training will temporarily elevate blood pressure, its benefits on overall fitness help maintain healthy blood pressure. Several health guidelines indicate weight training at least twice a week as a BP control exercise.
Yoga links mind and body which is why it is considered the best exercise to reduce blood pressure. Here are three easy exercises to lower blood pressure with yoga:
- Uttanasana (forward bending pose): This is a beneficial pose for your nervous system, and it effectively stretches your hamstrings and the muscles in your abdomen.
- Balasana (child’s pose): This is a calming pose that is considered important for hypertension. It also stretches your hip and spine and alleviates stress.
- Virasana (hero pose): This exercise is meant to be paired with focused breathing to affect your blood pressure. You can calm your nervous system and relieve stress by lengthening your exhale in Virasana.
Regularly practising these three easy exercises to lower blood pressure can be both mentally and physically beneficial for hypertension.
Exercises to Avoid for Hypertension
In addition to knowing what you should do, you must also know what you must avoid. This helps keep the counterproductive ideas away. Essentially, exercises that elevate your blood pressure speedily and thereby strain your heart and blood vessels must be avoided. Some exercises that individuals with hypertension must keep away from include high-intensity, short-term exercises such as scuba diving, sprinting, squash, etc.
The Bottom Line
While it is important to exercise, individuals with hypertension must consult a doctor before engaging in physical exercise. Your physician, who is aware of your condition, will help you devise a suitable workout plan to improve your health and maintain healthy blood pressure. In addition to exercising regularly, individuals with high blood pressure must also invest in a comprehensive medical insurance plan.
Since hypertension comes with associated health concerns such as heart ailments, it is important to look for health insurance that includes a heart cover. Before investing in a medical insurance plan, it is important to understand your health condition and get adequate coverage. The benefits of health insurance extend beyond the mere financial cover and afford the insured member a much-required peace of mind. Considering the inactive lifestyle of today, Tata AIG offers health insurance with unique riders that can strengthen your basic cover so you can lead a stress-free lifestyle.