Almost 1 in 3 adults in the United States suffer from high blood pressure. While switching to a healthier diet and decreasing salt intake are great ways to lower your blood pressure, you also need to pair them with regular exercise to get significant improvements in fighting hypertension.
The American Heart Association recommends people with hypertension and those with high cholesterol to make an average of 40 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity workouts 3 to 4 days a week.
Here are 4 exercise routines you can do to fight hypertension:
1. Hit the Gym
The gym provides a lot of exercise options with a mixture of strength-training and cardio machines that you can adjust according to your skill level.
Fitness experts recommend putting together a mix of lower body, upper body, and core exercises to maximize blood circulation and the number of muscles you’re involving.
However, this is something you need to consult with your doctors first to make sure you’re doing the workouts that are right for you and also safe to try.
2. Take Walks
A lot of us are actually too intimidated by the idea of a gym workout and that’s why we never go. But did you know that taking simple brisk walks can effectively lower blood pressure? Researchers observed data from National Runners’ Health Study and found that in a six-year time frame, walkers had 7.2% risk reduction in hypertension, a 7% risk reduction in high cholesterol, and 12.3% risk reduction in diabetes.
Map out your brisk walking route, put on your favorite workout shoes, and get your steps in!
3. Go Swim
Swimming is a great, low-impact, cardio exercise that accommodates most people, including seniors. Swimming has been proven to reduce systolic blood pressure by an average of 9 points in 60-year-olds who swam at least 3 to 4 times a week over 12 weeks.
Scout for a nearby indoor or outdoor pool and start swimming!
4. Ride a Bike
Fitness experts recommend morning bike rides as part of their exercise routines. A simple 30 to 35 minute bike ride can already get your heart pumping and boost your heart health in an enjoyable way.
In 2016, AHA conducted two studies that looked at the effects biking has on heart health. One of the studies looked at 45,000 Danish adults between 50 and 65 years old who rode a bike on a daily basis. After 20 years of observation, researchers found that cyclists had approximately 11 to 18% fewer heart attacks than those who never got on a bike for commute or even for recreation.
The second study showed that 20,000 Swedish adults in the 40 to 60 year-old range who rode a bike to work were less likely to suffer from high cholesterol, obesity, prediabetes, and high blood pressure, than those who didn’t bike at all.
If you’ve never tried riding a bike ever, it’s never too late to learn a new skill. It could probably save your life.
Read the full article at Everyday Health for more exercise tips on fighting hypertension.