A healthy blood pressure promotes whole-body health. Yet high blood pressure, or hypertension, can lead to a litany of problems, including aneurysms, an enlarged heart, coronary artery disease, stroke, dementia, kidney failure, and heart failure, among other issues. In short, it’s in your best interest to keep your blood pressure at a healthy, stable level. That’s not new news, especially for those who’ve had a visit to the cardiologist due to hypertension related problems. And there are a lot of us who suffer from hypertension—in fact, about one out of every three adults have high blood pressure here in the United States (according to the American Heart Association). So let’s talk about solutions to this nationwide problem—let’s talk about exercise and some of the best exercises you can perform to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.
Exercising gets the heart pumping and it gets the blood flowing. That’s great news for those who suffer from hypertension. As you’ll notice with our list, any cardio-based exercises are great, and strength training can help too! Be sure to ask your cardiologist for the best activities that fit your health, lifestyle, and unique circumstances; develop an exercise routine that works for you. Take note that this is just a short list of the numerous options that you can try out! Explore a workout routine that works for you!
Take a Walk
It’s a simple step (pun intended). Take regular walks to lower your blood pressure. A brisk walk increases your beats per minute, and it can boost your oxygen intake. Over time, regular walking can reduce blood pressure. Just be sure to stick to a routine, and strive to walk for half of an hour per day for most of the days of the week. If you’re looking to make the most of a walk, be cognizant to take deep breaths, walk at a fast (but comfortable) pace, and take a long walk if you please.
Go for a Jog
For all of the same reasons as walking, jogging is excellent for one’s blood pressure, and in fact, it’s even better. Since you’ll really get your breath going and blood flowing, you’ll oxygenate your blood cells (and the rest of your body), and you can reduce your resting blood pressure. Again, you’ll see better results with more speed and longer jaunts.
Spin or Cycle
The cardio continues with cycling and spin. Jump on the bike (stationary or otherwise), and put in a few miles. As you pump the pedals, your heart pumps and strengthens. Just remember, as your quads, calves, and hamstrings burn to pull you over the hills, you’re improving your blood pressure and bolstering your health.
Swimming is an excellent option for those who love the water. It’s a completely low-impact cardio exercise that’s great for the whole body. As you swim, you’ll of the muscles throughout your body, including your heart. Once again, that’s great news for your cardiovascular system and the regulation of your blood pressure.
For those who are more musically inclined, dance isn’t just fun—it’s healthy. Throw on a favorite album, and dance your way to side B. Like walking, jogging, cycling, and swimming, when you up the tempo, you’ll increase your results. So, if you’re looking for the best music to raise your heart’s beats per minute, choose a song with high… well… beats per minute! Dance that blood pressure down!
Yoga isn’t fast-paced like dance, and it may not elevate your heart rate like running. However, it can still work wonders for your heart. Since yoga incorporates exercise with deep breathing and meditation, it’s an excellent way to reduce your blood pressure. Deep breathing counteracts stress hormones which can raise your blood pressure. Also, try out tai chi, or simply meditate. Your heart will thank you!
Again, this is just a short list of exercises that are beneficial to your blood pressure and your cardiovascular health. Any exercise can help, just be sure to stay consistent, and stick to a routine! Ask your cardiologist for exercise regimen recommendations. If you live here in the San Joaquin valley and foothills, feel free to get in touch with a cardiologist here at Stockton Cardiology!