The risk for hypertension or high blood pressure increases with age, but getting some exercise can make a huge difference. Are your blood pressure already high? Then, exercise can help you control it.
You don’t have to join a gym or run a marathon. You can start slowly and then work more physical activity into your daily routine.
Exercises for High Blood Pressure:
According to celebrity sports trainer Scott Parker a morning bike ride is a big part of his routine, and one that he emphasizes with his clients.
“Something such as a simple 30-35 minute bike ride can get your heart pumping, could boost your cardiovascular health, and could get you outside,” he added.
Also, it was stated that fitness routines coupling aerobic exercise, such as biking, with resistance training, including lifting weights, could reap benefits for individuals dealing with hypertension.
In 2016, the American Heart Association reviewed 2 separate studies,that were published concurrently, which look at the effects of biking on heart health.
One of the studies, that was published in the journal Circulation, looked at 45,000 Danish adult participants between ages 50 to 65, and who biked as part of their day-to-day routines for both commuting and recreation. After 20 years of follow-up, the researchers reported that cyclists had about 11-18% fewer heart attacks, as compared to those who had never bike to get to work or for fun.
The second of the studies, that was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, reported that 20,000 Swedish adults in their 40’s to 60’s who biked to work were less likely than those who did not bike to have high cholesterol, obesity, high blood pressure and prediabetes. These are all the known major risk factors for heart disease. The participants were studied over a period of 10 years, and their cholesterol levels, commuting habits, blood pressure, weight changes, and blood glucose were all recorded.
At the beginning of the study, the participants were reported to be 13% less likely to have high blood pressure, 15% less likely to have obesity, 12% less likely to have prediabetes or diabetes and 15% less likely to have high cholesterol, as compared with those who did not bike.
Participants who took up biking or continued biking over the course of the study had a collective 39% lower risk of obesity, 18% lower risk of diabetes, 11% lower risk of high blood pressure, and a 20% lower risk of having high cholesterol at the end of the follow-up period.
Swimming is known to be a good, low-impact form of cardio exercise that’s accessible to most people, especially seniors.
A study that was published in The American Journal of Cardiology reported that swimming reduced systolic blood pressure by an average of 9 points, in 60-year-old individuals who engaged in swimming at least 3-4 times a week over the course of 12 weeks.
A study that was published in 2013 in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology looked at the health benefits of walking on heart health.
By looking at data on at least 33,060 runners in the National Runners’ Health Study and 15,045 walkers in the National Walkers’ Health Study, the researchers reported that the same amount of energy that an individual uses for vigorous-intensity running and moderate-intensity brisk walking resulted in similar reductions in high blood pressure, diabetes risks and high cholesterol.
Over a 6 year time frame, it was reported that walkers had a 7.0% risk reduction in high cholesterol, 7.2% risk reduction in hypertension and 12.3% risk reduction in diabetes.
Also, it was added that exercising in a group is most especially beneficial. “Exercising with 2-3 other people on a regular basis makes it less of a chore, and therefore, more of a fun social thing.”
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