How Exercise Lowers Blood Pressure
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems. Very often hypertension is asymptomatic but fortunately measuring of blood pressure is super easy and cheap. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to complications including:
Heart attack or stroke. High blood pressure can cause hardening and thickening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), which can lead to a heart attack, stroke or other complications.
Aneurysm. Increased blood pressure can cause your blood vessels to weaken and bulge, forming an aneurysm. If an aneurysm ruptures, it can be life-threatening.
Heart failure. To pump blood against the higher pressure in your vessels, the heart has to work harder. This causes the walls of the heart's pumping chamber to thicken (left ventricular hypertrophy). Eventually, the thickened muscle may have a hard time pumping enough blood to meet your body's needs, which can lead to heart failure.
Weakened and narrowed blood vessels in your kidneys. This can prevent these organs from functioning normally.
Thickened, narrowed or torn blood vessels in the eyes. This can result in vision loss.
Metabolic syndrome. This syndrome is a group of disorders of your body's metabolism, including increased waist size, high triglycerides, decreased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol), high blood pressure and high insulin levels. These conditions make you more likely to develop diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Trouble with memory or understanding. Uncontrolled high blood pressure may also affect your ability to think, remember and learn. Trouble with memory or understanding concepts is more common in people with high blood pressure.
Dementia. Narrowed or blocked arteries can limit blood flow to the brain, leading to a certain type of dementia (vascular dementia). A stroke that interrupts blood flow to the brain also can cause vascular dementia.
Fortunately hypertension can be managed with a diet and exercise. Here are some measures that can be taken to lower blood pressure :
Lose weight. Blood pressure often increases as weight increases. Being overweight also can cause disrupted breathing while you sleep (sleep apnea), which further raises your blood pressure. In general, you may reduce your blood pressure by about 1 millimeter of mercury (mm Hg) with each kilogram of weight you lose.
Exercise regularly. Regular physical activity such as 150 minutes a week, or about 30 minutes most days of the week — can lower your blood pressure by about 5 to 8 mm Hg if you have high blood pressure. It's important to be consistent because if you stop exercising, your blood pressure can rise again.
Eat a healthy diet. Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products can lower your blood pressure by up to 11 mm Hg if you have high blood pressure. Fasting has also been shown to bring blood pressure by the same degree.
Juicing. Beetroot juice is one of the best sources of nitric oxide. It is a vital molecule produced in your body that impacts many aspects of health. It helps blood vessels dilate to promote proper blood flow and may provide various health benefits, including improved exercise performance, lower blood pressure and better brain function.
Consider boosting potassium. Potassium can lessen the effects of sodium on blood pressure. The best source of potassium is food, such as fruits and vegetables, rather than supplements. Talk to your doctor about the potassium level that's best for you.
Quit smoking. Each cigarette you smoke increases your blood pressure for many minutes after you finish. Stopping smoking helps your blood pressure return to normal. Quitting smoking can reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your overall health. People who quit smoking may live longer than people who never quit smoking.
Reduce your stress. Chronic stress may contribute to high blood pressure. Occasional stress also can contribute to high blood pressure if you react to stress by eating unhealthy food, drinking alcohol or smoking.