According to the CDC, one in three Americans have high blood pressure, putting them at increased risk for heart disease and stroke.
Blood pressure also increases as your weight increases. In general:
- Men are at risk if their waistline exceeds 40 inches.
- Women are at risk if their waistline exceeds 35 inches.
The bottom line is that even shedding a small amount of weight can help you reduce blood pressure. And that means exercise.
Working out at least 150 minutes per week – spread over the course of 5 days – can help to lower blood pressure by relaxing your blood vessels and reducing arterial stiffness.
Anything that gets your heart beating a bit faster counts – swimming, gardening, going on a hike, and even dancing. But if you want to make the most out of your trip to the personal fitness studio, you can’t go wrong with these 4 exercises to lower your blood pressure.
- Walking – Take to the treadmill for a brisk jaunt. Studies have shown that walking for up to 30 minutes a day at moderate intensity can help you lower your blood pressure and boost the efficacy of any medications you may be taking for hypertension – and potentially rule them out entirely.
- Cycling – Like walking, a bike ride gets your heart beating faster. Regardless of whether you bike along a country road, or on a stationary machine at the fitness studio, the act of peddling requires a rider to move their legs up and down, which stimulates muscles, compresses veins, and pumps blood to the heart. Cycling also encourages intermittent periods of rest. Additionally, in 2016, two separate studies published by the American Heart Association showed that people who bike regularly – for pleasure or as a means of commuting – appeared to have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – Short, intense bursts of activity, punctuated by longer periods of lighter exercise can do wonders for your body, ranging from improved strength to weight loss. And studies continue to show that HIIT is one of the most effective exercises to lower your blood pressure, as it helps to relax and loosen blood vessels, promoting a freer flow of blood.
- Strength training – Whether using free weights, studio equipment, resistance bands, or your own body weight – strength training can help you boost your metabolic rate, build muscle mass, and lose weight. Every 10 pounds chips away at your high blood pressure considerably.
There is no doubt, exercise an essential component of reducing your blood pressure. And it should be part of pursuing a healthier lifestyle overall. Eat healthier; limit your sodium, caffeine, and alcohol consumption; try to reduce stresses in your life whenever and wherever possible. If you’re a smoker – quit.
If you don’t belong to a fitness studio, we know a great place that puts people first. Fitness Together Ellicott City can help you establish fitness goals and map out a balanced, realistic fitness plan to meet them. Give us a call today at 410-750-2228.