People who are physically active tend to live longer healthier lives. Several researches have shown that people who engage in at least 30 minutes of physical exercise daily can significantly reduce their body weight and blood sugar levels- both risk factors for hypertension, and also build dense bones. Exercise also helps to improve the blood cholesterol profile and aids mental alertness.
Physical activity is beneficial both to people who are hypertensive and those who are not. Becoming more physically active can lower blood pressure by up to 10mmHg. This improvement can eliminate an individual’s need for medication to control blood pressure.
With exercising, perseverance is the key; and to keep the blood pressure low, you definitely need to keep exercising. The benefits of physical activity are maximized after a few months of regular exercises. And the benefits stop when you stop exercising regularly. Even for people with an optimal blood pressure, exercises and healthy living can help to keep it from rising with ageing.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity (that is, working hard enough to break a sweat, but can still engage in a conversation) for about 5 days per week Or 20 minutes of more vigorous exercises three times per week. Physical activity may include walking, running, stair climbing, cycling, etc.
Practical Exercise tips for a healthy lifestyle
In spite of the many benefits of exercising, most people (understandably) find it difficult to add on exercise routines into their already busy schedules so here are some practical tips:
The physical activity can be incorporated into your daily routine, in some practical steps such as
- Park your car further away from your office and do a 15 minutes brisk walk
- Use the stairs where available, skip the elevator
- Pick out a choice lunch restaurant that prepares low fat, low salt meals; and walk to it
- Break your exercise routines into 3 parts of 10 minutes each
- Take a 30 minutes brisk walk in your neighbourhood (could be an early am or late pm walk)
- When you get the chance, dance!
Exercise for Hypertensives with Heart Disease
First of all, a person who has recently had a complication from hypertension such as a heart attack, or stroke are advised to get a medical clearance from their doctor as being fit enough to exercise. It is very important to balance any form of work out and not push until a state of tiredness.
No matter how light the exercise seems, contact a doctor if there are associated feelings of labored breathing, chest pain or even extreme tiredness from just house chores.
Special workout routines may also be developed by good gym trainers to adapt to each individual unique need.