As mentioned in one of our previous resources, you can effectively manage heart disease by implementing new health habits in your day-to-day activities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 in 3 Americans struggle with high blood pressure. Known as the “silent killer,” it often has no symptoms but puts you at major risk of a heart attack or stroke.
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Lifestyle plays an important role in treating high blood pressure. Though eating healthier and reducing sodium is helpful, making exercise a habit can lower your blood pressure, supply you with more energy and ease your stress levels. In today’s blog, we’ll be sharing our 10 favorite exercises for lowering your blood pressure.
How is exercise and blood pressure connected?
Engaging in regular physical activity strengthens your heart by helping it pump more blood through the body with less effort. This eases the stress on your arteries, lowering your blood pressure. Keep in mind; it takes one to three months of regular exercise to impact your blood pressure and the benefits last only as long as you continue to do so.
What kind of exercise should I do?
When it comes to physical activity, consistency is key. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym every day to unlock the benefits of aerobic exercise. Simply incorporate moderate physical activity in your daily routine and review these guidelines outlined by the American Heart Association:
- Aim for 90-150 minutes of aerobic or dynamic resistance exercises per week, and three sessions of isometric resistance exercises per week.
- Clock in 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity a week. This can be accomplished in 30 minutes, five days a week.
- Physical activity should be performed in episodes of 10 minutes and spread throughout the week.
- Include flexibility, stretching and muscle-strengthening exercises in your weekly routine.
If you’ve been inactive for some time or are simply new to exercise programs, take it gradually and always consult with your doctor. We recommend starting with something slow and easy like walking, then building up to higher cardio activities like cycling and rowing.
Also, if you find yourself sitting for several hours a day, try breaking it up with trips to the water cooler or small walks. Research has shown that high levels of sedentary time can contribute to poor health conditions. If you have troubles remembering throughout the day, create a notification for yourself through email or your mobile phone.
Find something you enjoy and mix it up
If you love spending time outdoors, take a relaxing walk in a nearby park. Or, if you enjoy listening to music, plug in while you exercise on the elliptical. Just 10-30 minutes of moderate activity per day is all you need. Plus, adding variety to your regimen will help you stay motivated as it becomes habitual!
Need help getting started? Here are 10 exercises we recommend for lowering and controlling high blood pressure:
Moderation is different for everyone
Keep in mind; if you injure yourself in the beginning, you’re less likely to keep going. Pace yourself and focus on something you enjoy that gets your heart rate up to a moderate level. If you decide to take on a greater intensity, make the call – just don’t overdo it. It isn’t worth the risk of injury.
How can I monitor my blood pressure at home?
Resting heart rate is the number of times your hearts beats per minute when it’s at rest. This is best calculated when you wake up in the morning after a good night’s rest. The average adult’s resting heart rate is 60-100 beats per minute. For those who are more physically active, this number may be lower.
Heart monitoring can help you keep tabs on your blood pressure, signify when lifestyle changes are working and alert you to any health complications. You can determine your target heart rate by measuring your pulse periodically as you exercise and staying within 50-85% of your maximum heart rate.
There are various blood pressure monitors available on the market. In addition to these devices, regular visitors to the doctor will aid in controlling high blood pressure. If you’re making any changes in medications or treatments, your doctor may also recommend checking your blood pressure two weeks after changes are implemented and a week prior to your next appointment.
The best way to reduce the risk of heart disease is prevention
Monitoring and treating high-blood is crucial for preventing more serious coronary events down the road. Paired with our state-of-the-art Revolution CT Scanner, we can detect the smallest irregularities months or even years before you’d recognize the symptoms of heart disease. In other words, early detection increases your chances of survival exponentially.
For more information on blood pressure, how to reduce your risk of heart disease or to schedule a heart scan, we invite you to reach out to us today at (918) 869-6161.
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