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Sunday, October 31, 2021

To what extent does exercise lower blood pressure?

Physical activity can reduce blood pressure by 4 to 6 mm Hg. Ideally, moderate-intensity aerobic exercise should be combined with low-weight, high-repetition strength exercises.

The pressure levels blood pressure levels of an elite athlete are always low. This data is very representative of the benefits of exercise in keeping at bay blood pressure.

In fact, the World Health Organization asserts that physical activity should be part of the non-pharmacologic measures to control hypertension. That is, it should be prescribed to you by your doctor as he does with any medication.

Why is it so good to move?

The reason is simple:

  • Regular physical activity strengthens the heart, so it can. pump more blood with less effort.
  • And if the heart makes less effort to pump, the pressure in the arteries decreases and blood pressure drops.

But you know what exercise plan is it good for you to balance your blood pressure? To find out, we talked to Dr. José Abellán Alemán, director of the Chair of Cardiovascular Risk at the Catholic University San Antonio of Murcia. and one of the best specialists in hypertension and exercise in our country.

Can a good physical exercise program be as effective as blood pressure-lowering drugs?

Indeed, sustained aerobic physical exercise has been shown in controlled trials to reduce blood pressure by 4 to 6 mm Hg, but also a strength exercise program with low weights but many repetitions has proved effective.

What physical activity would you recommend for hypertensive people who are uninitiated in exercise?

The most important thing in order to become entrenched in the practice of physical exercise is. to train progressively. With this we get an adaptation of our cardiovascular system to exercise.

  • For a sedentary person it would be good to begin to brisk walking for about 45 minutes a day. If you have difficulty in doing so, you can do so at two or three sessions of about 10 minutes each. until you reach your goal. The good thing about exercise is that it all adds up.
  • When you’re trained to do some 10,000 steps/day which is equivalent to walking about 7 km, I could combine it with strength exercises, but based on lifting low weights with lots of repetitions. Then you can move on to more intense exercises.

What are the advantages of exercising outdoors?

Regular exercise has been shown in both sexes and in all age segments lengthen life span and enjoy better health.

Physical exercise helps control blood pressure, weight, has beneficial effects on glycemic control and lipid profile, and also relieves tension as it produces satisfaction.

Exercising while in the sunshine ensures we produce vitamin D

If in addition it is done outdoors much better, because it will allow us to sunbathe directly, with which we ensure the production of vitamin D, so important for our bone system.

It has been seen that disciplines such as yoga or tai chi help to control tension because they work deep breathing. Do you think they are recommended as a complement to aerobic exercise?

It has long been known that relaxation techniques help control blood pressure, especially in highly stressed patients, provided they are practiced regularly and the body is trained in these techniques.

In this sense the practice of yoga or tai chi is highly recommended in hypertensive patients. because it helps to unload tensions and introduces breathing control maneuvers.

What type of exercise is discouraged for hypertensive persons?

The most important thing is not to forget that physical activity should always be moderate, even if you are trained and see yourself capable of more. It is necessary to avoid competition against other people or against oneself.

I say this because there are patients who have a component of self-demanding and competitive innate.

It’s all right. progress exercising up to a moderate intensity, but you should not exceed 75% of your maximum heart rate. -(MHR is 220 minus your age in years). Do not subject yourself to unnecessary risks.

Exercise should always be of moderate intensity

We can advise brisk walking (measure with step counter at least 10,000 steps/day), cycling up to 16-20 km/h on the flat, dancing, swimming, hiking, walking, or non-competitive aerobic-dominated team sports activities, provided they are performed frequently.

Not to exceed 75% of maximum heart rate.

And if you go to the gym you can do strength exercises under the supervision of a trainer. personal trainer who monitors loads, repetitions and heart rate.

Avoid hypopressives

Hypopressive crunches may be very inadvisable if you have hypertension because they are done by holding your breath (apnea), and this can raise your blood pressure even more.

Erik Balley
Erik Bailey
20 years of experience in the fitness and physical activity sector in Barcelona, personal trainer, instructor of directed activities, nutritionist, I have worked in the most important gyms and chains in the sector.
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