Hypertension – the medical term for high blood pressure – is common in the UK, and can lead to life-threatening health issues. To manage or prevent hypertension, exercise can lower blood pressure.
Your doctor can prescribe medicines that help lower blood pressure if you’re diagnosed with hypertension. However, a key aspect of this medical condition is that many people don’t realise they have it! Hypertension is usually detected when someone takes your blood pressure.
It’s a serious issue, as it can lead to strokes and heart conditions. If your blood is travelling too rapidly around your body, it’s putting your circulatory system under intense strain. This is why it’s known as the ‘silent killer’.
Family history and lifestyle
Hypertension can be hereditary. However, one of the biggest causes of high blood pressure is lifestyle. You’re more likely to have it if you smoke, eat too much salt, you’re overweight, eat poorly or stay sat down for too much of the day. Your age plays a role, as do other medical conditions that can impact blood pressure.
How does exercise lower blood pressure?
It may seem logical to rest if your blood is pumping too hard! The opposite is true, as even light to moderate increases in exercise can combat hypertension.
The basic principle is that this activity strengths your heart and circulation and helps to balance their functioning.
This is why the best option for long term improvement in hypertension is regular cardiovascular exercise – exercise classes, running and other activities that give your heart and lungs a good workout.
Incidentally, going out for walks, swimming and other activities also help with stress, which is another thing that elevates blood pressure! It also helps you to lose weight too.
For more advice on managing, diagnosing and preventing hypertension, please contact the team at Oval Medical Centre.