If you have a medical condition such as high blood pressure you should check with your doctor before starting any exercise program. Your doctor may want to perform a stress test to determine a safe level of exercise for you. But high blood pressure shouldn’t stop you from exercising. In fact it is beneficial.
The one lifestyle change that will give you the most benefit for lowering or controlling your blood pressure is regular exercise. It is more effective than salt reduction, alcohol reduction or even weight loss.
Studies show that regular exercise helps prevent your blood pressure from going up. Regular exercise makes your heart stronger so your heart can pump more blood with less effort. The less you heart has to work the less pressure on your arteries consequently lower blood pressure. Exercise also reduces your risks for cardiovascular disease and stroke both are connected to your blood pressure.
The best exercises for those of us with high blood pressure are moderate aerobic physical activity. You want to do activities that get your large muscle groups working and your arms and legs should both be moving. Some examples are: stair climbing, walking, jogging, bicycling, swimming, mopping your floor, raking leaves, gardening, dancing, yoga, pilates, football, hockey and tennis. You need this regular exercise most days of the week for 30 minutes at a time. It doesn’t have to be the same exercise to have it considered regular for instance: Mondays you take an aerobic class, Wednesdays you briskly walk your dog, Friday nights you go dancing and Saturdays you tackle your yard work.
You know you are exercising at the required intensity when it takes effort to breath but you are still able to talk, you are warm and slightly sweaty.
Don’t get discouraged it may take 3 months before you see a difference in your blood pressure but it will happen. And remember exercise has no adverse side effects like some medications that are used to lower your blood pressure.
Avoid isometric exercises. Lifting weights is not good for those with high blood pressure.
Stop all activity if you have chest pain, dizziness, can’t catch your breath, pain in your arm or jaw, or irregular heart beat.
Here are the lifestyle changes you should make if you are dealing with high blood pressure:
- Eat a healthy diet high in veggies and fruits.
- Don’t smoke or use any tobacco.
- Limit sodium, alcohol and caffeine.
- Lose weight.
- EXERCISE REGULARLY.
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