Workouts That Help Drop Blood Pressure

water aerobics
Although African American adults are 40% more likely to have high blood pressure, they are 10% less likely than their non-Hispanic White counterparts to have their blood pressure under control.

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Exercise, weight management, and a healthy diet do wonders in preventing this. Working out also boosts the effectiveness of blood pressure medication if you’re already being treated for hypertension.

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Aerobic Activity

Your workout routine should consist of 30 minutes of aerobic activity most days of the week. If you don’t have 30 minutes continuously to exercise, break workouts into shorter 10- to 15-minute intervals. Brisk walking, cycling, jogging, swimming and stair climbing can be performed as part of your workout routine.

Strength Training

Strength train three days a week to help lower your blood pressure. Since lifting causes a temporary increase in blood pressure, keep weight loads modest. Control your breathing throughout movement and stop if you feel dizzy or light-headed. Use resistance exercise machines such as bicep curls, ab exercisers, leg presses and chest presses to work the upper body, lower body and core. Start off with one to two sets of 10 to 12 reps for each machine.

Every Day Activity

Find activities you enjoy and aim for 30 minutes a day of “exercise” on most days of the week. Daily housework, gardening, washing windows, using the stairs, carrying your groceries, walking at the mall, or riding bikes with the kids all add up to exercise that benefits your heart. Tip: Increase activity by parking at the end of the lot, or get off the bus a stop early and walk to your destination.

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Consult Your Doctor Before Getting Started

High-intensity bouts of exercise are not typically recommended for high blood pressure sufferers. Instead, you should work out at a moderate pace. To know you are working out at a safe level, you should have the ability to carry on a conversation comfortably.

Wear a heart rate monitoring device during exercise. Your target heart rate where you should remain while exercising is 50 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate; your maximum heart rate is approximately 220 minus your age. Since blood pressure medications can lower your target heart rate, consult your doctor about making any adjustments during exercise.

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