According to the CDC, roughly 75 million American adults have high blood pressure. That’s 1 in every 3 adults! These kinds of numbers point to the fact that high blood pressure is an epidemic in this country.
What is causing these skyrocketing numbers? Well, when it comes to hypertension, there are quite a few causes or risk factors for the disease:
As we get older, our chances of developing high blood pressure increase due to the fact our blood vessels become less flexible. (Though much of this has to do with lifestyle choices and can be reversed)
If your close family members have developed hypertension, it is said you will have a significantly higher risk of developing it yourself.
Carrying extra weight on your body, even as little 10 pounds, can elevate your blood pressure. Those individuals who are obese have a much higher chance of developing high blood pressure.
Typically speaking, high blood pressure is more common among adult men than adult women. Having said this, after the age of 55, a woman’s risk of hypertension increases.
Tobacco products cause blood vessels to narrow, resulting in higher blood pressure. But that’s not all, smoking also reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood, which causes your heart to pump faster to compensate. This also causes an increase in your blood pressure.
As the old saying goes, “Garbage in, garbage out.” If you are eating mostly processed foods high in sugar and trans fats, then you are asking, no begging for high blood pressure.
Stress, particularly chronic stress, can severely impact blood pressure all by itself. But on top of this, most people deal with stress in unhealthy ways such as eating highly processed foods, smoking and drinking too much, which makes the situation far worse.
A lack of exercise and sedentary lifestyle can significantly raise your risk of developing hypertension.
But the good news is, if you have high blood pressure, you can begin today, RIGHT NOW to make some healthy changes in your life. Clean up your diet, quit smoking, deal with stress in healthy ways and start to exercise more regularly.
How Exercise Lowers Blood Pressure
Exercise, particularly aerobic exercise, strengthens your heart. A stronger heart can pump blood more efficiently and with less effort. When your heart doesn’t have to work so hard, the force on your arteries and blood vessels decreases and your blood pressure decreases as well.
Physical activity can lower your systolic blood pressure (that’s the top number) by an average of 4 to 9 mm Hg. Those results are as good as what many blood pressure medications on the market can offer. Many people have found they can reduce their need for blood pressure medication with exercise alone.
So how much exercise do you need to lower your blood pressure and keep it low?
The good news is, you don’t need to become a gym rat to lower your blood pressure. Simply getting some moderate exercise 3-4 times a week can significantly and positively impact your high blood pressure.
It will take anywhere from one to three months before you will begin to see an impact, but if you commit, you will get results.
So which exercises are the best for high blood pressure?
Top 5 Exercises to Naturally Lower Your Blood Pressure
The following exercises have proven effective for lowering blood pressure.
Brisk walking is a great cardio workout, but if you have been sedentary for some time, you can simply walk at your own pace to begin. Pace is not important at the beginning, what’s important is getting into the habit of walking more.
A great way to begin a walking routine is to set aside a specific amount of time each day. For instance, many people like to go for a walk with their dog, spouse or neighbor after dinner. Maybe you want to start your day with a walk around the block or take a 15-minute walk during your lunch hour.
You may also want to get a nice, new pair of sneakers to ensure your feet are comfy and that nothing can get in the way of your commitment.
Biking is a great cardio workout and great for your joints. Try going for a little bike ride on weekends with your kids or grandkids. There are also excellent stationary bikes that don’t cost a fortune. This will help you stay with your program even when the weather is nasty.
Strength training will help you build muscle, and that will help you burn a lot of calories, even while at rest. This can be a great way for people who struggle with their weight to finally get a handle of it. Remember, extra weight can cause high blood pressure.
As an added bonus, strength training is great in not only building muscle but building bone mass as well. If you’ve never lifted weights before, it’s a good idea to get some instruction from a local trainer. Once you understand proper form, you can workout on your own.
Swimming is one of the absolute best all-around exercises for everyone. First, it really works your heart and lungs at the same time. And, according to Harvard Medical School, this combination “trains the body to use oxygen more efficiently, which is generally reflected in declines in the resting heart rate and breathing rate.”
Plus, swimming works every muscle in your body at once as well. It’s just an exceptional exercise that is also gentle on your joints.
That’s right! You don’t have to do formal exercise to lower your blood pressure, you just need to start moving your body more. Cleaning your house, raking leaves, and other household chores can help increase your heart rate and work your muscles. To really get a good workout, try to bend less and squat more. For instance, if you are vacuuming and need to pick up some dog toys off the floor first, don’t bend over and pick them up, squat and pick them up. Squatting can make ordinary chores more challenging and effective.
Would you like to learn other natural ways to safely and effectively lower your blood pressure? Then pick up a copy of The Blood Pressure Solution.
Find out how one doctor is helping her patients throw away their blood pressure medication for good! Click Here for all the info.