Exercises to Lower Blood Pressure

What are some useful exercises to lower blood pressure?

Exercise may be the single most effective means of lowering blood pressure. Regular exercise reduces the risk of a wide variety of diseases, but only if it becomes a part of a daily routine.

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A note about Exercises to Lower Blood Pressure

In natural health and healing, we believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man's understanding. We also believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases.

In order to do so, the body needs the support of some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition. No matter how remote or unrelated a health condition may seem, these fundamental health steps will greatly magnify the effects and benefits of any of our health-promoting efforts, including the use of specific natural health remedies.

Daily physical activity strengthens the heart muscle, improves blood flow, lowers blood pressure, raises the “good” cholesterol (HDL) and lowers “bad” cholesterol (LDL), and increases blood vessel capacity, allowing blood to move freely.

Three main types of exercise exist: isotonic (aerobic), isometric, and isokinetic. Aerobic exercise uses the large muscles of the body in a repeated and constant fashion. Examples include walking, dancing, swimming and cycling. These exercises have been the most recommended for treatment of hypertension, as they improve aerobic capacity and blood circulation.

Moderate intensity exercise has been shown to be as effective, if not more effective, than high intensity exercise. Patients with advanced hypertension should not engage in very strenuous exercise programs initially, but rather should instead build up their stamina with a moderate routine of exercises to lower blood pressure.

When it comes to exercises to lower blood pressure, any exercise will be more beneficial than no exercise. Even a single exercise session will lower blood pressure up to 22 hours. Three times per week should be a minimal starting point. As one builds a routine, increase your exercises to 15 minutes and then a half-hour daily.

Many people report that they find exercising daily easier than only a few times per week, because with an ingrained routine, one is less likely to skip multiple days in a row and eventually give up the program all together. Essentially, exercise becomes a habit.

To obtain the best results from aerobic exercise, work strenuously enough to raise the heart rate to the “target zone.” This zone, measured in heart beats per minute, depends upon your age range. The target zone can be measured by taking a pulse for fifteen seconds, then multiplying the number by four to obtain beats per minute. Remember to drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after practice to remain hydrated.

Resistance exercises, such as free weights, should also accompany the aerobic exercise in order to increase strength and tone the body. Many natural health practitioners recommend vigorous walking to be the best exercise for treating hypertension - it is free, requires no equipment save a good pair of shoes, and can be done anywhere.

People generally have little trouble incorporating walking into their daily routine. Simply park a little further from the store, take the stairs rather than the elevator, or take the dog out for a stroll. The opportunities that begin to present themselves will feel endless. Indeed, walking is one of the simplest and most convenient exercises to lower blood pressure.

Exercises and activities which activate the relaxation response, such as yoga, Pilates, tai chi, and meditation, have also been shown to help lower blood pressure; they can thus be useful exercises to lower blood pressure, too. Activating the response, which can be classified as a physiologic state of deep rest, only takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

First described by the famed Dr. Herbert Benson in the West, the response has been known to exist, albeit under different names, for centuries in the East as part of the movement meditation traditions such as yoga and tai chi. The response can also be activated through guided relaxation scripts, such as that used for body scans and healing energy visualizations.

Certain forms of yoga, such as Vinyasa and Power, move swiftly enough through a series of poses to be considered aerobic exercise, yet also engage the relaxation response, most commonly at the end of the practice. When using exercises to lower blood pressure, in order to maintain an exercise program long-term, be sure to select a program that you enjoy.

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