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How Exercise Can Help High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can certainly be helped by dietary changes, but exercise can also make a difference.

AnnA Rushton

Exercise is one of the keys to lower your blood pressure. It also boosts the effectiveness of blood pressure medication if you’re already being treated for hypertension.

Make it fun

Find activities you enjoy, and aim for 30 minutes a day of “exercise” on most days of the week.

If you can’t stand the gym, not a problem. Dancing counts. So do yoga, hiking, gardening, and anything else that gets your heart beating a bit faster.

Since you’re going to be making it a habit, pick things you’ll want to do often. Let your doctor know what you have in mind, so they can make sure you’re ready. Our

Get help

if you don’t find it easy to motivate yourself, then you might want to consider getting a trainer to show you what to do.

whether that is in the gym, or other form of exercise such as yoga or tai chi, they can help you do each move right and get the best results.

Strength matters 

Have you considered adding strength training as part of your routine?

You can use weights, weight machines, exercise bands, or your own body weight by doing abdominal crunches or curl-ups.

You’ll lose body fat, boost muscle mass, and raise your metabolic rate. Losing as little as 10 pounds can lower or help prevent high blood pressure if you’re overweight.

Swimming

Doing aerobic exercise (“cardio”) is good for your blood pressure.

Swimming is a gentle way to do it and start slow and work up to 30 minutes if you are new to exercise.

How much is enough?

Do something that’s moderate in intensity — like brisk walking — for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 or more days a week.

That may be enough to keep you off medications or help them work better. Exercise can lower your blood pressure by as much as five to 15 points.

Gradually make your workouts more intense to keep lowering your blood pressure to safer levels.

Getting started

Start slowly to prevent injuries. Start with 10 to 15 minutes of exercise you enjoy, such as walking around the block or on a treadmill.

You can gradually make your workouts longer and more challenging.I

Pace yourself  

If you’re new to exercise, remember to pace yourself. Select a low- to moderate-intensity exercise such as gentle forms of yoga, gardening, or any other activity that you can do at a moderate pace.

Gradually increase the intensity and duration of exercise as you become fitter, to help maintain your lowered blood pressure.

Make it convenient

Commit to making exercise part of your schedule. Find a time that works for you.

it’s about finding some space in the day when that is possible. So if you have children at school or after-school activities maybe then?

If you are working try some fast walking or short exercise class during your lunch break.

If more of your time is spent at home, consider getting some workout apps or DVDs, a yoga mat, and hand-held weights you can use at home.

It doesn’t have to take long

Add 10-minute mini-workouts, and do these throughout your day. For example, you can jog in place or do calisthenics for 10 minutes.

Three 10-minute mini-workouts equal 30 minutes of daily exercise in little bits of time you won’t miss.

What about a home gym?

Pick items that fit in with what you want to do: a step bench, skipping rope, fit ball, exercise bands or tubes, and weights, for example.

You can store them in a cupboard when you’re not using them. If you have more space and a bigger budget, consider getting a treadmill or stationary bike.

Essential stop and start rules

Warming up before exercise and cooling down after are important for people with high blood pressure.

These exercises let your heart rate rise and return to normal gradually. Walking in place or on a treadmill for 10 minutes is fine for warming up before exercise and also for cooling down.

Medication

Some heart medications such as beta-blockers or calcium channel blockers can slow your heart rate.

Talk to your doctor and ask what your target heart rate zone should be during exercise if you take these medications.

Staying safe

No matter what exercise you do, be aware of your limitations. If the exercise or activity hurts, then stop.

If you feel dizzy or have discomfort in your chest, arms, or throat, stop.

Also, go slower on hot and humid days, or exercise in an air-conditioned building.

Helpful information

Oestrogen dominance can be a factor a menopause and this leads to weight gain, which is linked to high blood pressure. Jus losing 10 pounds can help reduce or prevent high blood pressure.

Rebalancing with progesterone is a good place to start, so do check whether you have any of the symptoms.

Diet and exercise go together when dealing with hypertension and you can lower your systolic blood pressure (the top number) by switching to the DASH diet.

According to studies, adopting a DASH diet can reduce systolic blood pressure by eight to 14 points and as well as eating more fruit and vegetables you will find reduction your salt intake will help too.

National guidelines recommend not getting more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day (about 1 teaspoon of table salt).

The limit is 1,500 milligrams a day for some people, depending on age and other things. By staying on a sodium-restricted diet, your systolic blood pressure (top number) may drop two to eight points.

Salt-restricted diets can also help enhance the effects of most blood pressure medications.

What Is Oestrogen Dominance?

DASH Diet for Heart Health

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