High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a common problem. One reason is that medication can only reduce the problem, not cure it. In most cases, the best way to lower your blood pressure is to change your life style.
For most people, more physical activity is necessary. Lack of exercise is one of the main suspected causes of hypertension. Note that exercise will cause your blood pressure to rise for a short time. However, once you stop the activity, it soon returns back to normal levels. The quicker it does this, the fitter you are.
Most people suffering from hypertension should be able to increase their physical activity level safely. However, if your blood pressure is really high, it may have to be lowered with medication before you start exercising. Always consult your doctor before starting a new exercise program.
You should focus on aerobic exercises, which are good for your heart and blood vessels. Walking, jogging and swimming are suitable activities. At least in the beginning, you should avoid isometric exercises, such as heavy weight lifting. These activities will put an extra strain on heart and blood vessels.
Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes three to five times a week. It is much better to exercise often than trying to make one or two big sessions every week. The key to success is persistence, you need to incorporate the exercises into your daily life. In order to increase your chances of success, you should focus on activities you enjoy. If it feels like a punishment, you will most likely give up quickly.
The best but also the toughest way is to exercise first thing in the morning. Make sure that you get up early so that you can go for a walk before breakfast. Even better is jogging, as long as you are fit enough to handle it. A more comfortable solution is to use an exercise bike at home. Treadmills and cross trainer machines are better but also more expensive.
If you have the opportunity, go for a walk during lunch time. Even better would be to go to a gym for some light to medium exercises. Make sure that you also get your mind off work at the same time.
In the evening, you should try to squeeze in activities you enjoy. It can be tennis twice a week together with swimming twice a week plus a long walk during the weekend.
Physical activity will help to lower your blood pressure but it’s unlikely to be enough on its own. If hypertension is a problem for you, combine exercises with other changes to get better results. Healthier diet and stress reduction are two of most important changes you should consider.
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