It’s vital to take steps to lower your blood pressure if it is too high, as if left untreated the condition can lead to heart attacks and strokes. The good news is high blood pressure can often be lowered without medication, simply by making some lifestyle changes. Keeping active and exercising regularly is one important lifestyle change to make if you need to lower your blood pressure, but what type of exercise is the most beneficial for the blood vessels and heart? According to health experts, aerobic exercise is the best type of exercise to lower your reading.
Aerobic activity is the type that helps your heart the most
Blood Pressure UK
“Different kinds of exercise and activity have different effects on your body,” said Blood Pressure UK.
“If you have high blood pressure, you should try to focus on activities that will help your heart and blood vessels. Aerobic activity is the type that helps your heart the most.”
Aerobic activities involve repetitive movements that use the large muscle groups of the body, including those in the legs, shoulders and arms.
Examples include activities such as brisk walking, cycling, swimming, dancing, tennis and jogging.
You can also take part in aerobic exercise classes at your local fitness centre or gym.
In addition, some aspects of gardening can provide good aerobic exercise, such as mowing the lawn or digging.
It’s advisable not to partake in activities that are very intensive for short periods of time, however, such as sprinting, weight lifting and squash.
This is because these kinds of activities will raise blood pressure quickly and put unwanted strain on the heart and blood vessels.
All types of physical activity will cause blood pressure to rise for a short time, but aerobic exercises raise it more gently and it should return to normal soon after the activity is stopped.
The NHS advises doing at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week.
“Most people with high blood pressure should be able to increase their physical activity levels quite safely,” said Blood Pressure UK.
However, if your blood pressure is relatively high, you may need to lower it with medicines before starting an exercise programme.
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Blood pressure: How to lower your blood pressure naturally.
Natural ways to lower blood pressure
If your blood pressure is very high, you should not start any new activity without consulting your doctor first.
According to the NHS, normal blood pressure is considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.
High blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher. Malignant hypertension – a condition in which blood pressure is dangerously high – is considered to be 180/120mmHg or higher.
As well leading an active lifestyle, it’s important for people with high blood pressure to eat a healthy, balanced diet.
Eating foods which are high in salt and saturated fat can cause damage to the blood vessels, resulting in high blood pressure.
Unhealthy eating habits also lead to weight gain, which increases the risk of high blood pressure.
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High blood pressure puts extra stress on blood vessels and vital organs. It increases the risk of some life-threatening heart conditions, including heart attacks and strokes.
Hypertension can often be prevented, and blood pressure reduced, by making some diet or lifestyle changes.
Cutting back on the amount of salt in your diet is a great way to lower blood pressure.
Salt raises blood pressure, and the more you eat, the higher your blood pressure is likely to be.
Aim to eat less than 6g of salt a day – the equivalent to about a teaspoonful.
Blood pressure could be raised if you regularly drink too much alcohol.
Those most likely to have hypertension are people that regularly exceed the week recommended limits.
All adults are advised to drink less than 14 units of alcohol in a single week.
If you’re overweight, the heart has to work harder to pump blood around the body, which raises blood pressure.
Losing just a few pounds could make a big difference to your blood pressure and overall health.
Staying active is one of the best ways to lower your blood pressure.
It helps you to lose weight, while also keeping the heart and blood vessels in good condition.
All adults should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week.
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