High blood pressure is a very common condition, and for many, exercise helps to lower it. Exercise is often the most important part of a treatment plan for high blood pressure.
What is hypertension?
High blood pressure, or hypertension as it's referred to medically, is a serious condition which causes a lot of problems for people. This condition has become more and more common in recent years and experts are unsure what's behind the jump in numbers.
Dubbed the “Silent Killer” due to its lack of overt symptoms and warning signs, high blood
pressure, or hypertension, can have devastating consequences on one’s health. It can lead to stroke or heart attack, as well as can cause kidney and other diseases. It is also a major cause of premature deaths worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 46% of adults with hypertension are unaware they have the condition.
How to Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally
The good news is that one way to control or to prevent the devastating effects of high blood
pressure is through regular exercise. Physical activity helps to make the muscles of the heart
stronger so it's able to pump blood throughout your body with less effort, lowering the force on your arteries, and therefore lowering your blood pressure.
The CDC has recommended that you get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic
activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of the two. The CDC also recommends a strength training program 2 times per week to maximize cardiac benefits.
This may seem like a daunting task for someone who is more sedentary. But small changes
can make large impacts! Starting small with even 10 minutes of activity can kick start the
effects on lowering your blood pressure.
The key is to increase your heart and breathing rate! This can include power vacuuming, dancing, or even gardening. Taking walks around the block or through a forest preserve is a great way to also get some fresh air.
What to Know Before Exercising to Lower Blood Pressure
Make sure to check with your doctor before jumping into an exercise program. You will want to discuss the side effects of any medications you are taking, as several can affect your body’s response to exercise.
Also, having a Physical Therapist on your side is a great idea- we are exercise experts! Aside
from creating a tailored and customized program for you, we also will monitor blood pressure
and heart rates before, during, and after activity to ensure you are responding safely and
We also want to make sure you are having fun, stay motivated, and are doing exercises that will optimize your results. We are your biggest cheerleaders, in your corner every step of the way!
If you'd like to speak with one of our exercise experts to help you in creating a regular exercise routine or to get rid of any pain you might be having, click here to request more information.