High blood pressure: Lifestyle changes to reduce reading
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High blood pressure is a very common condition – and many people may have it without even knowing. If you have hypertension, it’s especially important that you do regular exercise to keep your blood pressure in check. Simply doing the gardening could help to protect against the complications of high blood pressure.
High blood pressure affects more than a quarter of all adults in the UK, according to the NHS.
It’s essential that your hypertension is diagnosed early, because the condition raises the risk of heart attacks or strokes.
Having high blood pressure puts extra stress on the blood vessels, and subsequently your vital organs.
But one of the easiest way to manage your blood pressure is to do regular exercise.
Keeping active naturally helps to regulate your blood pressure, and avoid hypertension.
But it doesn’t have to be all jogging and swimming, and you might even find that you’re doing healthy exercises without even knowing it.
Simply doing a few gardening chores should be enough to count toward your weekly exercise target, it’s been claimed.
Cutting the grass and shovelling through some soil is particularly beneficial for your blood pressure, according to AXA Health’s senior physiologist, Daniel Craig.
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“If you’ve just been diagnosed with high blood pressure you may feel anxious about exercising but, in most cases, it’s perfectly safe and can actually help lower your blood pressure too,” he said.
“Aerobic exercise – which includes most activities that make you moderately out of breath – can help reduce your blood pressure by up to 10 percent.
“This could be fast walking, jogging, cycling or swimming, but even mowing the lawn, digging the flower beds, and dancing count.
“If you have any doubts, always check with your doctor that it is safe for you to exercise, particularly if you have other medical conditions.”
For the ideal benefits, aim to get your heart rate working at around 60 percent of its maximum, he added.
Allow your body to warm up slowly when you’re starting your exercise, however.
Everyone should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week.
That can be spaced out over the course of the week, or if you’d rather, you can do a full two-and-a-half-hour workout all at once.
It’s essential that if you think you have high blood pressure, you speak to a doctor straight away.
The condition raises the risk of some deadly complications, including heart attacks and strokes.
Hypertension rarely has any noticeable symptoms, which is why it’s often known as ‘the silent killer’.
Everyone over 40 years old should check their blood pressure at least once every five years.
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