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lower blood pressure
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high blood pressure
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cardiovascular exercise
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heart rate
How Does Exercise Lower Blood Pressure?
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Our ancestors led healthy lives because they didn't have to exercise - they got the exercise while hunting for food or growing crops to survive. Our sedentary lifestyle has been a contributory factor to most of the diseases of modern civilization like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.

A natural way to lower your blood pressure is to be active. Most of us would rather drive or take a bus for short trips or the elevator in a low-rise building. Why not just take a short brisk walk or use the stair case instead?

How does exercise lower blood pressure?

Aerobic or cardiovascular exercise strengthens the heart and lungs. Some examples are walking, jogging, cycling and swimming . A stronger heart is able to pump more blood and does not have to work harder. This will reduce the force on the arteries and lower the blood pressure.

How long must you exercise to lower your blood pressure? You should spend about 30 minutes for 4 to 5 days of the week. Those who cannot find the time may take brisk walks for about 20 minutes everyday. So you do not have to go to the gym to exercise or exert yourself in a marathon.

However, there are certain precautions that you should take before you begin an exercise program. Consult your doctor if you are overweight or if your pressure is very high. This has to be lowered before you begin to exercise. Do it gradually to build up your fitness level. Do not over-exert yourself. To prevent this include warm-up,conditioning and cool-down phases in your exercise session.

The Warm-up phase allows your body to adapt itself and minimizes the risk of injury. You can do light stretching or any other simple motion activities.

In the conditioning phase you use up most of your energy and burn calories. In the process your blood pressure will be lowered immediately. A word of caution here. Never overdo it.

The final cool-down phase will give your body time to recover from the conditioning phase. Your heart rate and blood pressure should be back to normal within a few minutes. Do not stop doing the activities abruptly. Just reduce them in intensity. Otherwise you will experience dizziness or heart palpitations.

The risk of high blood pressure increases with age, but exercises done on a consistent basis can reduce it. As you can see, anyone can do these simple aerobic exercise to keep fit and healthy but do take the necessary precautions to prevent injury and you will be fine.


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