Exercise and Fitness for Hypertension Treatment

By  , Expert Content
Feb 25, 2011

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Adoption of healthy lifestyles is now considered as an important part in the management of high BP. Regular physical activity has been shown to be of benefit in people with hypertension.

Regular exercises or any other physical activity (moderate physical activity for 30 minutes on most days of the week is also adequate) has been shown to reduce systolic blood pressure by about 4-9 mmHg.

Studies have shown that sedentary (inactive) lifestyle is major risk factors for heart disease. But the good part is that it is a modifiable risk factor---so you can help yourself.


[Read: Alternative Treatment for Hypertension]


Regular exercises or any other physical activity helps to:

  • Improve the function of your heart and cardiovascular system.
  • Enhance your blood circulation and utilization of oxygen
  • Reduce symptoms of heart failure
  • Improve your stamina, strength  and overall health
  • Increase your energy levels
  • Improve your muscle tone, balance and joint flexibility.
  • Strengthens your bones.
  • Reach and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Reduce stress, tension, anxiety, and depression.
  • Improve sleep, relax and feel fit and healthy.


What Type of Exercise Is Best?

The three basic types of exercise include:

  • Stretching or the slow lengthening of the muscles. These should be done before and after exercising. It helps to warm you up and prepare the muscles for activity. Doing stretching exercises helps to prevent injury and muscle strain and also improves your range of motion and flexibility.
  • Cardiovascular or aerobic exercise: These exercises involve doing steady physical activity using large muscle groups. They help to improve the function of your heart and cardiovascular system, your stamina, strength  and overall health
  • Strengthening exercises: These improve your muscle tone, muscle strength and strengthen your bones.

Before starting any physical activity or exercise consult your doctor. Your doctor can advice you regarding exercises suitable for your level of fitness and physical condition. It is advisable to start exercises under the guidance of a physical trainer.


How Often Should I Exercise?

Studies have shown that regular aerobic physical activity such as brisk walking, cycling, jogging for at least 30 minutes per day on most days of the week is also helpful to reduce blood pressure. To maximize the benefits of regular physical activity or exercise you should progressively work up to an aerobic session lasting 20 to 30 minutes, at least three to four times a week.


Read more articles on High Blood Pressure

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