The dangers of high blood pressure are numerous – heart attack, stroke, dementia are just a few health risks associated with the condition. To bring it down in the long term, it may require raising it in the first place. Blood Pressure UK noted: “Physical activity will cause your blood pressure to rise for a short time. “For most people, this is nothing to worry about, and when you stop the activity it should quickly return to normal.”
However, to be cautious, always speak to your GP before stating a new exercise regime.
The charity protested that a blood pressure reading about 90/60mmHg would benefit from being more active.
It’s when the reading is 180/100mmHg or higher that urgent medical advice is warranted before starting any new exercise programme.
Different types of exercises and activity has varying effects on the body, with the charity recommending to focus on aerobic activities.
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It’s finding the right balance between helping the heart and blood vessels the most, while making sure there’s not excessive strain on the heart muscle.
Helpful – and safe – aerobic exercises include:
- Heavy gardening, such as digging
Even with current lockdown restrictions, you can walk, jog, dance or cycle to keep your blood pressure reading lower in the long term.
From March 29, open-air swimming pools will open their doors once again, meaning you can take a refreshing dip in the water.
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It is from that point forward that tennis courts will also become available to use.
If you do have high blood pressure, the charity warned that some activities could be dangerous.
This includes weight lifting, playing squash, sprinting and extreme sports, such as skydiving or scuba diving.
Now you know which exercises are safe for high blood pressure, how often – and for how long – is recommended?
Blood Pressure UK echo official government guidelines, which suggest that every adult “should be moderately active for 30 minutes a day, five times a week”.
Whatever safe activity you choose to do, in order for it to count, one must feel a bit warmer while doing it and breathe that little bit harder.
“But you should still be able talk without panting between words,” added the charity.
If you find it difficult to keep moving for 30 minutes regularly, it may help to split up the exercise into three 10-minute chunks.
“This will help you build up your strength and get used to your new activity,” said Blood Pressure UK.
It may help to get an accountability partner, someone who will exercise alongside you – whether that be virtually, on the phone, or someone you live with.
It’ll also be helpful to do an activity that you enjoy, for example, catching up with family while taking a walk could be a great way to get your steps in.
For those with mobility issues, chair-based exercises could be an option for you.
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