Know What Moderate Means For You
If you injure yourself right at the start, you are less likely to keep going. Focus on doing something that gets your heart rate up to a moderate level. If you’re physically active regularly for longer periods or at greater intensity, you’re likely to benefit more. But don’t overdo it. Too much exercise can give you sore muscles and increase the risk of injury.
Is Your Exercise Intense Enough
The question isare you walking briskly so your pulse and breathing are intensified, or are you just taking an easy stroll? Brisk walking is moderate-intensity exercise, while an easy walking pace is light-intensity. One way to measure your walks is to wear a fitness monitor such as a Fitbit that notes continuous exercise sessions of at least 10 minutes at a pace fast enough for moderate intensity.
Many monitors also measure your heart rate to ensure you are in the moderate-intensity zone. These active minutes are totaled by such monitors so you can tell at a glance whether you are meeting the recommendations.
Walking Workouts For High Blood Pressure
Exercise can help lower high blood pressure as much as many medications. Regular aerobic exercise such as brisk walking is recommended for people with hypertension by health authorities such as the American Heart Association.
The good news is that you can enjoy a variety of walking workouts, including short, brisk walks, and longer walking sessions to get the desired effects. Strength training, done in addition to aerobic exercise, also has benefits for people with high blood pressure.
Discuss your need for exercise with your doctor and ensure any regimen is appropriate for your personal circumstances and health care needs. Do not change your medications without consulting with your doctor.
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You Have A Beer Every Day Or Many On Weekends
It has long been known that heavy drinking can boost blood pressure. Research presented at the American College of Cardiology’s annual scientific meeting demonstrated that even moderate alcohol consumptionseven to 13 drinks per weeksubstantially raises a person’s risk for hypertension. Data for the research came from the large, decades-long NHANES study that followed 17,000 U.S. adults between 1988 and 1994. Researchers found that compared with people who never drank, moderate drinkers were 53% more likely to have stage 1 hypertension and twice as likely to have stage 2, while heavy drinkers were 69% more likely to have stage 1 hypertension and 2.4 times as likely to have stage 2.
Is Exercise Good For High Blood Pressure
Exercise, in general, can help manage your blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, exercise can even help lower it. How? Exercising regularly helps manage your weight, keeps your heart healthy and decreases stress.
Additionally, working exercise into your lifestyle, along with eating a healthy diet, can help lower your blood pressure and prevent more serious medical conditions.
High blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure and even kidney issues, says Gray.
So, if youre ready to lace up your sneakers, make sure to keep a few things in mind.
You have to be mindful of your breathing, she advises. Make sure youre not holding your breath while working out or doing a breathing method called the Valsalva maneuver, which is where you hold your breath during weightlifting, for example.
Focusing on breath control will help eliminate a significant elevation in blood pressure, says Gray.
Another thing to be mindful of is incorporating a 5- to 10-minute warmup and cool down. For example, you can ride a bike, walk on the treadmill, walk around a track or take a stroll around your neighborhood to warm up or cool down.
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Walking And Blood Pressure Reduction: How To Do It
So thats all well and good. You know how walking lowers blood pressure, but how do you go about it? How much do you have to walk? How far? How fast?
Well, the more you can walk, the better for your blood pressure . But whats the minimum you can walk and still see blood pressure benefits?
As with any exercise for lower blood pressure, health authorities generally recommend at least half an hour a day for at least five days of the week. But research has shown that you can get the same benefits by breaking this up into smaller chunks so three ten minute walks most days would do it.
As for the pace, you do want to get your heart and lungs working harder this is vital so crawling along is not going to do it for most people. A a good guideline is to attempt or imagine having a conversation while you walk. If you can speak easily and at length while youre walking, then you need to step it up a bit. However if youre really struggling for breath and words then maybe youre pushing a little too hard. If you can exchange short phrases with someone then thats about right.
How to fit walking for lower blood pressure into your day
Being motivated enough to get out for a walk is one thing, but what if youre struggling to find the time? One of the advantages of walking to reduce blood pressure is that its such a versatile activity.
Stretching And Blood Pressure
You might not think that stretching would have an impact on blood pressure but theres evidence that it does. A study carried out at the University of Saskatchewan looked at the effects of walking and stretching on blood pressure and the results are surprising!
For the study, researchers recruited 40 middle-aged and older men and women with mild hypertension and assigned them to one of two groups. One group walked at a brisk pace for 30 minutes each day, 5 days per week. The second did a 30-minute stretching routine using the same schedule. Before starting the program, researchers measured the subjects blood pressure in all positions and monitored their pressure using a 24-hour monitor. At the end of the 8-week study, the researchers compared blood pressure readings between the two groups.
The results? Thirty minutes of stretching led to greater improvements in blood pressure than an equivalent amount of brisk walking. However, the walkers lost more body fat. The limits of the study are that its small size and the fact that all the participants had mild hypertension. Its not clear whether the results would be the same for those with more severe hypertension or those with borderline blood pressure elevations.
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Being Inactive Is Bad For Your Health
People who aren’t physically active are much more likely to have health problems, like heart attack and stroke. On the other hand, regular physical activity helps to lower blood pressure, control weight and reduce stress.
For overall health benefits to the heart, lungs and circulation, get regular aerobic activity using the following guidelines:
- For most healthy people, get the equivalent of at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking.
- You can break up your weekly physical activity goal however you like. An easy plan to remember is 30 minutes a day on at least five days a week. But shorter sessions count, too.
- Physical activity should be spread throughout the week.
- Include flexibility and stretching exercises.
- Include muscle-strengthening activity at least two days each week.
So How Much Exercise Should You Really Do
According to The Mayo Clinic, doing roughly 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every day “can lower your blood pressure by about 5 to 8 mm Hg.” According to the aforementioned study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, you should aspire to perform at least an hour of moderate-intensity exercise every day.
So which is it?
Well, according to a brand-new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, there is a specific formula that you can apply to your own life that the researchers say will be much more accurate for you.
It works like this: Simply perform 3 minutes of “moderate-to-vigorous” exercise for every hour you sit every day. You don’t have to exercise 3 minutes every hourbut add it up. If you sit for 7 hours every day, you should be performing at least 21 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercisesuch as brisk walkingevery day. According to the researchers, this could extend your life by 30%. And for more ways to add years to your life, don’t miss The Secret Way Sitting Can Extend Your Life, Say Experts.
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Chair Exercises For Blood Pressure
If you have mobility problems or find it difficult to get out and about, then chair-based exercises can be great way to be active.
Classes are available around the country and can be cheap or even free.
These exercises avoid putting unwanted strain on the hips, legs or arms, making them ideal for people with arthritis or osteoporosis, or who have had back, knee or hip surgery. Because they gently build up your fitness, they are suitable if you are starting from the very beginning.
How can chair-based exercises help?The exercises are a series of stretches, movements and activities that raise your heart rate and make your arm and leg muscles stronger and more flexible. This may help you to become more mobile and steady on your feet, and can improve your posture. Over time they may lower your blood pressure and help you to lose weight or keep to a .
What happens in a chair-based exercise class?The classes tend to last for one hour. They normally start with 10 minutes of warm-up, followed by 40 minutes of activities and then a 10-minute warm-down of rhythmic movements.
The chairs are often arranged in a circle with your instructor in the middle. You will start with a range of stretches in your chair to improve the flexibility of your shoulders and joints and to gently raise your heart rate.
You can find a local chair-based class online or by asking your GP. There are also online videos that you could follow from home.
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.
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Does Walking Raise Or Lower Blood Pressure Immediately
Walking is one of the most effective forms of exercise for improving cardiovascular health. Initially, walking like all forms of aerobic exercise causes slight increases in blood pressure. Over time, however, walking helps to lower blood pressure levels, which is especially important for those who have high blood pressure.
What Causes Increases In Blood Pressure
Even if youre being treated for high blood pressure, your blood pressure will still rise after exercising. Walking, taking the stairs, and even lifting or moving large items can all cause your blood pressure to increase.
How much your pressure rises depends on how high it is to begin with and how conditioned your cardiovascular system is.
The better shape you’re in, the less your blood pressure will rise with increased physical activity. People who are out of shape will see their blood pressure increase with much less physical activity than people who are in good cardiovascular health.
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Cochrane Evidence On Walking To Reduce Blood Pressure
A new Cochrane Review, published in 2021, has looked at the effect of walking on blood pressure. The authors looked at studies in adults who had normal, or high, blood pressure where walking programmes were compared to no interventionA treatment, procedure or programme of health care that has the potential to change the course of events of a healthcare condition. Examples include a drug, surgery, exercise or counselling. . They found 73 studies with 5763 participants that met their inclusion criteria. The walking programmes used in the studies varied, but they mainly took place at peoples home or in the community, for example walking on a treadmill or walking outside. The walking programmes on average took place over 3 months and, in most studies, people walked for 20 to 40 minutes, at a moderate intensity, three to five times a week . The walking programmes were usually supervised.
The authors found that walking for approximately 150 minutes per week for 3 months probably reduces systolic blood pressure by around 4mmHg. This reduction is smaller than the reduction seen with medication but is still important, especially when you consider that physical activity has lots of other health benefits. For comparison, a Cochrane Review looking at the effects of medication in people with high blood pressure found that ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers reduced systolic blood pressure by approximately 16mmHg and 9mmHg respectively.
What Questions Should You Ask Your Doctor
High blood pressure is a dangerous condition, and the more information you have, the better. This means dont be shy with the questions, though your doctor will also provide you with plenty of information to begin with.
But questions about how intensely you should exercise and how quickly exercise and diet will lower your blood pressure are a good place to start. You may also ask your doctors opinion on the use of blood pressure medications, along with lifestyle changes or how dangerous your immediate condition is.
But the important thing is that you ask questions and gather all the information you can. Dont worry your Intermountain Healthcare team will be happy to answer all questions that you have, since they know as well as anyone that theres no such thing as a silly question, especially when it comes to your health!
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The Pacer Blog: Walking Health And Fitness
Walking can actually help to lower your blood pressure, in addition to all of walkings other benefits to your health. Walking improves your fitness, strengthens your heart, and burns calories all at a low-intensity level that most people can easily handle. If youve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you can start a walking routine that will help improve your numbers. Walking is also a great way to keep your blood pressure under control before it becomes an issue.
Read on for more info about high blood pressure, as well as how to lower blood pressure by walking.
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What Researchers Discovered
The study in early March was based on data from 1,923 participants in the national Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study.
In addition to their overall conclusions, the researchers also reported that every set of 1,000 steps taken daily over the course of 9 years lowers the risk of obesity by 13 percent in middle-aged women.
In the study, participants wore accelerometer devices to measure physical activity at least 10 hours a day for at least 4 days.
The average age of the participants was 45. Almost 60 percent were women and about 40 percent were black.
The average follow-up time was 9 years.
Those with the highest step count were 61 percent less likely to have obesity, compared to women who walked the least.
The study didnt show any association between a lower risk of obesity and the number of daily steps walked by men.
Many people think that walking is not considered exercise and that walking on a daily basis is not enough to have a positive effect on your physical and mental health, said Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, the co-founder of Mastering Diabetes, an online coaching program helping people with diabetes reverse insulin resistance. For people with diabetes, even a short 30-minute walk before or after a meal has profound impact at lowering your blood glucose levels.
The 10,000 step benchmark goes back to 1965 when a Japanese scientist reportedly responded to the fitness craze surrounding the 1964 Tokyo Olympics by inventing the pedometer.
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Smart Devices To The Rescue
However, another analysis included in the study also indicated that if they took into account a persons weight, as measured through their body mass index , the association between the number of steps taken per day and blood pressure was no longer significant.
This, the researchers suggest, might mean that weight mediates the relationship between physical activity and cardiovascular health.
This study solidifies our understanding of the relationship between physical activity and blood pressure and raises the possibility that obesity or accounts for a lot of that relationship, says Dr. Sardana.
Going forward, it would be useful to look at how smart devices might be leveraged to promote physical activity, reduce the burden of obesity, and potentially reduce blood pressure.
Dr. Mayank Sardana
The investigators go on to emphasize that in the future it will be necessary to find out whether body weight affects how much a person is able to walk each day or vice versa.
We should look to future studies to answer the question of directionality with a randomized trial or cohort intervention, says Dr. Sardana.
You Rarely Go Outside
Binging a new show on Netflix for days on end while quarantining inside your home should protect you from COVID-19, but it could increase your blood pressure or worsen existing hypertension, suggests a study in the Journal of American Heart Association. And why is this? It’s the lack of sunlight that’s boosting your blood pressure.
In the observational study, researchers analyzed 46 million blood pressure readings from 342,000 patients in 2,200 dialysis clinics and found that exposure to UV sunlight was associated with lower systolic blood pressure. For decades, scientists have known of seasonal variation in blood pressure, but had linked it to factors such as air temperature and vitamin D, which is produced when sunlight hits the skin. This new study found that temperature played a role, but “half the seasonal variation in blood pressure is independent of temperature. It’s due to the UV alone,” said lead author Dr. Richard Weller of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
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