One of the most common causes of high blood pressure is often linked to inactivity and lack of exercise.
Without the use of drugs, doctors and nurses often suggest exercise to help lower long-term blood pressure.
Although it is true that physical activity causes a rise in blood pressure for a short amount of time, your blood pressure soon returns to normal, and the quicker it does this, the fitter you are likely to be.
So, while increasing physical activity at a safe level, what are the best exercises for lowering blood pressure?
A favourite exercise of ours that is loved by people young and old, swimming is a great aerobic exercise that is also gentle on the joints.
In fact, a study conducted in 2012 found that older people who swam just a few times per week were able to lower their systolic blood pressure, which is the “top” number in a blood pressure reading.
If you’re interested in taking up swimming, we have a range of swimming costumes available in our store.
You can also find your local swimming pool using Swimming.org’s poolfinder page.
Cycling for fresh air
An advised activity for lowering blood pressure by Blood Pressure UK, cycling is not only good for gently lowering your blood pressure, but it’s also the perfect excuse to get out of the house.
In fact, a recent study published in the scientific journal, Aging Cell, also found that cycling in old age helps to maintain a strong immune system.
In the study, researchers analysed the blood samples of 125 active adult cyclists between the ages of 55 and 79 and found that T-cell activity (the cells that help immune systems fight infections), was as high as young adults in their 20s.
If you’re looking to cycle with other people, as part of a community or club, you can find your local cycling club here.
Walking football for team spirit
Walking football is a past time and sport that has been increasing in popularity over the past couple of years for both men and women.
The sport is a variant of association football for those aged over 50 who want to enjoy football without all the rough and tumble.
Originally devised by the Chesterfield F.C. community Trust in 2011, the National Governing Body for Walking Football says that the sport promotes a range of health benefits:
“Walking football offers a multitude of health benefits to older people such as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke while improving blood pressure.
“Positive changes in postural balance, blood pressure and resting heart rate, lowered cholesterol, improved blood sugar levels, bone density and improving reactions, whilst slashing the odds of suffering from type 2 diabetes – all indicators of general good health.”
You can find your local walking football club using the Walking Football United map.
What’s your favourite way to exercise for better overall health? Leave a comment in the box below to let us know what your favourite exercise is.