How to Prevent and Care for High Blood Pressure through Exercises

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Is your blood pressure through the roof and your doctor says you need to bring it down? Or are you keen to not wind up in such a situation and want to take a proactive method through exercise? You’ve come to the right place for answers and kudos on taking the first step. A drug free-approach to control or keep away high blood pressure can work wonders for your body, with none of the side effects that come with medication. 

Some of the best personal trainer San Diego has to offer were kind enough to share their expertise on exercises that are great for high blood pressure, and here’s what they recommended.  

  1. Brisk walking, 30 minutes daily 

Brisk walking on a treadmill or outside, at a speed of 3-4 miles/hour, every few times during the day can help you manage blood pressure better. The gym in San Diego that we reached out to recommends brisk walking for 10 to 30 minutes daily, with this exercise backed to relax your blood vessels and reduce the stress that stiff capillaries inflict on blood flow. You don’t have to go the whole 30 minutes in one bout, it’s better to split this into 10-minute sessions across the day then try to go longer once you build up your endurance. 

In fact, one Korean study a few years back substantiated these findings, after testing the effects of walking exercises on over 20 hypertension case subjects. Results were measured after 4, 10-minute brisk walking sessions and were as follows: 

  • The highest BP points drop recorded was 5 points
  • The lowest BP points drop recorded was 2 benefits
  • The average BP points drop was three

Of course, studies insist that consistency is key if you’re to achieve long-term benefits for your condition. Therefore, you may need to get a female personal trainer San Diego to help you stick to your routine, or create a more favorable one depending on the severity of your condition and other factors. 

  1. Biking for half an hour a day

Certain medications can lower BP by as much as 10mmHg, but biking can afford similar relief according to findings by heart surgeon, Larry Creswell. Cycling helps you keep your blood pressure at arm’s length in a variety of ways, and is a great alternative to brisk walking if you’d like something that’s a little easier on the knees and joints. 

First, it is a great way to lose weight, which is key in the fight against hypertension. The American CDC uncovers that you can lose up to 2 pounds weekly, by just riding a stationary bike with statistics by Harvard Health showing you can: 

  • Burn up to 930 calories an hour if you’re 185 pounds or over
  • Burn up to 630 calories per 60 minutes if you weigh lower than 126 pounds

Excess weight increases the strain on your heart, which has to exert a lot more effort to meet the increased demand for nutrients and oxygen. As your heart works harder than usual, blood flows across your blood vessels with greater intensity, increasing pressure and damage to vessel walls. Biking can help lower your weight, the strain on your heart, and the intensity of blood flow. If you need a San Diego personal trainer to help with your cycling workouts, our friends over at IronOrrFitness are a great option.

  1. Swimming can lower systolic BP 

Like biking, swimming works like a charm just like any medication for hypertension. It lowers blood pressure by improving the elasticity of blood vessels, which allows your vessels to take the force of heartbeats with lower susceptibility to damage. Also, swimming can lower blood pressure by: 

  • Relieving stress 
  • Helping you lose weight 
  • Building muscle functioning by lowering oxygenation needs for muscles as they get better at absorbing oxygen from your bloodstream

A while ago, research by the University of Texas set the record straight on how swimming affects the health of older adults (aged at least 60). The study brought to light just how it can enhance blood vessel functioning with 40 minute sessions, 3 to 4 times weekly.

It pitted individuals who took a more relaxed exercise approach devoid of swimming against a second group that took a dip every few times a week as outlined. The result was that the swimming group noticed up to a 9-points drop. 

  1. Indoor rowing, two to three times a week 

Rowing has many benefits for your health. If you can’t get out on the water for one reason or another, then a rowing machine can be just as beneficial as the real deal. A recent 24-week-long study found just as much, substantiating rowing to have the ability to lower your systolic blood pressure by as much as 9%. 

Beyond this, the study also revealed that indoor rowing can: 

  • Result in a 3.5% reduction in cholesterol levels. Cholesterols can clog and constrict blood vessels, thus increasing heart strain and pressure. When your cholesterol levels lower, your pressure follows suite too
  • Lower triglyceride levels by 1.3% following just one-and-a-half months of exercise
  • Reduce cardiovascular fatalities by 59%, with the study showing non-rowers to be more at risk

Indoor rowing also improves muscle strength & functioning which enables your heart and cardiovascular system at large to work less to meet oxygen demands around the body. In terms of how much in-door rowing is necessary, San Diego fitness experts recommend at least 15 minutes, thrice a week. 

Where to get help 

The CDC finds that 116 million Americans- over 35% of our population- are battling some form of hypertension, which predisposes them to other potentially fatal health risks including stroke and heart attack. Over 50% of them don’t have their condition under control, mostly since the disease can be asymptomatic, hence why it is tagged the “silent killer.” Exercise is a great way to control and prevent blood pressure, and if you need an experienced personal Trainer San Diego to walk you through your options, we recommend you check out the IronOrrFitness website.