The Best Exercise for High Blood Pressure: Small steps can make a big difference!
Research shows even small amounts of exercise can help lower high blood pressure. Here's how to start a slow but steady plan for safe, heart-healthy exercise.
High blood pressure doesn’t hit you over the head like a cricket bat. It doesn’t give you chest pain or make you exhausted while walking up stairs. So it’s easy to forget that high blood pressure puts you at risk for a number of health problems including;
- heart attack
- heart failure
- kidney failure
The good news is though: Even small amounts of light physical activity can help lower high blood pressure. YOU don't need to do anything crazy or intense, just focus on moving your body.
Hypertension Exercise: Start Small, Think Big
Ideally, everyone — especially anyone with health conditions such as;
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
Should aim to get at least 2.5 hours of modest physical activity per week. A good starting point would be;
- Try for at least 30 minutes a day every day of the week, and try not to go more than 2 days without any exercise.
- One of the best and easiest exercises you can do is walk. You can walk anywhere, and it doesn’t require any equipment beyond a pair of shoes (joggers).
- If you can't walk for 30mins in one hit, regress the time and break the walks down into intervals, complete 5 minute walks at 3 times a day.
The key is to get started with something that is going to encourage you to move more, do something that's going to have a positive affect on your physical health and well-being. Note - YOU DON'T NEED TO DO ANYTHING COMPLEX OR INTENSE!!
Here are some other alternatives to get you started, this will encourage you to sneak in short efforts of exercise into your daily activity. suggestions:
Park a little further from the entrance/buildings everywhere you go — to work, to the shops, to your doctor appointments.
Take the stairs rather than the elevator if you’re only going up 1 or 2 levels.
Carry the groceries in from the car one bag at a time.
If you’re limited by back, hip, or knee pain, and even short walks are difficult, try a workout that doesn’t put stress on your limbs. Start by walking in a heated pool (hydrotherapy pool) — the warm water will support the stressed joints.
Staying Motivated Tips:
Exercise at the same time every day. It’ll become a regular part of your routine. That time will become your 'habit'!
Do something that you enjoy doing.
Take your blood pressure medication.
Set realistic goals for yourself. If you set an exercise goal you know you can’t meet, you’re setting yourself up for failure. DO NOT OVER REACH!
Talk to Your GP
For a safe and successful exercise experience, discuss your fitness plan with your doctor to point you in the right direction. Chances are he or she will encourage you to get moving by giving you personalized advice.
I hope you all find this information useful - and it helps those that need it.
All the best with your journey.