This past January I had to have my second total knee replacement. With inactivity because of pain and with the diagnosis of high blood pressure I was a little concerned about exercise and increased activity. Both my primary care physician and my surgeon recommended I start walking and increase my activity. So I did.
One of my favorite activities is walking in the woods. The smell of the pine trees, the way they sound when the wind blows through the pine needles, to me is the most tranquil place to be. The way the light filters through the trees just makes it magical.
I started off slow and in the end started hiking in the mountains with my wife about 7 miles through the trails near our home. Even with high blood pressure, the point I want to make is that increasing your activity does lower your high blood pressure numbers. You really want to find an activity that you love to do and cause your heart to work a little bit harder than usual.
The first place I would start is with your primary healthcare provider. Discuss with them what you want to do, get a checkup, and get the green light from them to increase your activity. Even people with physical limitations can exercise to an extent. So never sell yourself short on what you are able to do.
Taking Charge of your high blood pressure numbers
Increasing your activity will not “just happen” because you’re thinking about it. Let’s be realistic, the society we live in loves to take the path of least resistance. It seems that it is a built-in human trait. Sometimes we try to get away with the least amount of effort. If you’re serious though about lowering your blood pressure numbers, you will need a “take charge” attitude.
You will get out of it exactly what you put into it. Your target should be 30-40 minutes of vigorous activity 3-4 times weekly to get the benefit that your body will need to decrease the BP numbers.
Being A Couch Potato Is Deadly
Leave a potato on the couch and eventually it will begin to rot. Being inactive will cause our health to deteriorate over time. So we really need to get active.
According to the American Heart Association, we should have these target goals in mind.
For most healthy people, get the equivalent of at least 150 minutes (two hours and 30 minutes) per week of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking.
You can incorporate your weekly physical activity with 30 minutes a day on at least five days a week.
If you need to lower your blood pressure or cholesterol, aim for 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity three to four times per week.
Physical activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, and preferably, it should be spread throughout the week.
Include flexibility and stretching exercises.
Include muscle-strengthening activity at least two days each week.
Maybe you find that you have been inactive for a long time and are a little apprehensive about starting again. Then if the is the case start off slowly, you’re not in a competition. Start with walking or bicycle riding and ease into it. The most important thing is to start.
In fact, walking briskly can lower your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes as much as running, according to a new study conducted at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Life Science Division in Berkeley, CA. All three conditions are risk factors for heart disease and stroke, and you can do something about them.
Swimming is often promoted as a good way for older people to exercise, since it’s easy on the joints and it’s not likely to cause overheating. And many follow that advice: after walking, swimming is the second-most popular form of exercise among the older set.
Researchers found that among 43 older men and women, those who started swimming a few times a week lowered their systolic blood pressure — the “top” number in a blood pressure reading. On average, the swimmers started the study with a systolic blood pressure of 131 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Three months later, it was 122 mm Hg.
The benefits of practicing rowing are explained by the fact that it is a high expenditure, prevalently an aerobic sport. Rowing can easily help you reach and maintain your ideal weight and improve physiological parameters influenced by exercise: normalize blood pressure, improve sleep quality, strengthening of the immune system, psychological and behavioral advances and a significant improvement of posture and articular flexibility.
Golf the great game of the Scott’s. Golf’s powerful combination of stress-busting exercise, fresh air and camaraderie can help promote long-term heart health. It can reduce blood pressure and raised cholesterol and cut your risk of stroke and diabetes, especially if combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Walking around the golf course is as good as a run for cutting the risk of heart disease, according to new research from the US National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
Builds a stronger heart – Regular ballroom dancing can lead to a slower heart rate, as well as lower blood pressure and a more balanced level of cholesterol. It offers a great workout for the cardiovascular system as it requires a large degree of flexible movement. Thank you, Fred, Ginger, and Gene.
I bet the “Dude” did not know this one. Bowling Reduces risk of heart disease. A sedentary lifestyle is one of the leading risk factors for heart disease, according to WebMD. Exercise, including bowling, lowers your risk of stroke, heart attacks, diabetes, increases bone density, improves circulation, lowers cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and helps your body utilize oxygen better. Try to bowl once or more each week for optimum benefits.
As you can see there are so many different ways to get active, you could actually have fun doing them and lower your high blood pressure numbers. The point I want to make is getting active, getting active even if you are tired over time will increase your energy. It will improve your moods and will give you a reason to drag yourself out of the coach. Being active it so vitally important to your health. Make it a point to start somewhere, doing at least something. Get a partner to join up with you and make a pact with each other to ensure you do quite and don’t give in.
Further reading on exercises and activities to lower your high blood pressure numbers:
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