7 ways Exercise can help Lower Your Blood Pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a silent epidemic which affects scores of Indians every year. Our stressful yet sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets have routinely been identified as key factors that contribute to the spread of this disease.
Did you know that an active lifestyle can not only help lower your risk of hypertension but also improve the efficacy of your hypertension medication?
Here are 8 exercise tips that can help kickstart your journey to a fit and (hyper)tension free life!
Tip 1: Make exercise fun
Most people tend to begin (and unfortunately) end their journey to fitness in the first week of getting an expensive gym membership. Don't make exercising a dreaded activity by turning it into something you don't enjoy. Here are a few offbeat activities you can do to get your heart pumping before you move on to advanced gym-based workouts.
Dancing or Zumba classes are a fun way to get your body moving and they also serve as terrific cardio workouts. But don't worry if dancing is not your cup of tea, because, gardening, evening walks (with the occasional gentle hike) and Yogic meditation can all serve as excellent alternatives to running on the treadmill.
Tip 2: Strength Training - The secret to healthy weight loss
Strength training is one of the most effective ways to quickly shed your excess fat.
Don't just focus on cardio to lose weight and instead alternate your workouts with some weight lifting exercises. This will not only help you build some much-needed muscle mass but also convince your body to burn excess fat to meet its increased metabolic requirements.
Tip 3: Get a professional trainer
Just like it's important to follow your doctor’s prescriptions, it’s equally important to follow your gym instructor’s directions when you workout in the gym.
Avoid common gym injuries by focussing on learning the right technique to get the best results when you workout.
Walk Swim before you can run!
Swimming is a gentle aerobic activity that can not only help lower your blood pressure but also help with the knee pains associated with "cardio" runs. Not looking forward to cardio days at your gym? Go for a relaxing 30- minute swim at the local pool instead.
Tip 5: Make exercise a habit
Starting an exercise routine is tough and sticking to it doubly so. A disruptive gym schedule can tend to be a huge deal breaker in the long run.
Consider working out after office hours if you are not an early bird or carry out 10-minute mini-workouts during your workday to energise your mind and body during work breaks. The trick to sustainable weight loss and sticking to your exercise plan is to trade quantity for consistency.
Tip 6 : Get your doctor's approval
Hypertension medications like beta or calcium channel blockers can make your heart beat slower than usual. This is why it is important to consult your doctor before you decide to carry out exercises that could put your heart in danger!
Tip 7: Slow and steady wins the race..against hypertension
While regular exercise can lower your elevated blood pressure by 5-10 points, it is important to be aware of your limits when you suffer from conditions like hypertension.
Don't stress your body by overdoing your workouts; instead, aim to moderately increase the pace of your exercises to decrease your blood pressure.
Risk avoidance is key when it comes to embarking on your fitness journey. Exercise cautiously and eat consciously by adding green vegetables, avoiding salt and cutting sugar from your diet to maintain a stable, healthy weight and live a life free of stress and illness.