A healthy and proper diet, rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, low in packaged foods and salty snacks is an important step in lowering blood pressure. But it is not the only non-pharmacological strategy useful for improving one’s health. In fact, in 2017 a review ,
based on 53 studies conducted on older people, revealed the importance of combining proper nutrition with physical exercise .
(resistance) and anaerobic
(ie intense training) exercise are helpful in lowering blood pressure. Physical activity
has been shown to decrease the likelihood of developing
high blood pressure by 35%
among predisposed people. A good habit that applies to any age.
The Italian Society for Arterial Hypertension
recommends at least 3 workouts per week, of at least 30 minutes. Better if dedicated above all to strengthening the legs (eg running, cycling, brisk walking, swimming…)
These workouts should take place in 3 phases:
- Warm-up and stretching (10 minutes).
- Aerobic training to develop endurance (between 20-40 minutes depending on the athletic preparation and the time available): the exercises performed must not be maximum and you must never exceed 50% of the maximum heart rate. This value varies according to age and can be calculated with the following formula: 220 – age . In order not to risk exceeding it, you can use a wrist heart rate monitor.
- Recovery (10 minutes).
The most intense workouts, anaerobic ones, can instead be done in the form of isometric exercises
. They are in fact safe for health and can produce good results in lowering blood pressure
. This type of training is static and involves a muscular effort: it must be performed no more than two or three times a week and in a moderate way (moderate loads or small weights), through a series of repetitions interspersed with moments of recovery.
Salt and sport
If you want to start exercising to improve blood pressure, contact your doctor to receive specific and personalized advice on your needs. And remember… doing sports involves losing water and salts through sweating: it is important that they are replenished, but not overdoing it. IDEALE can help you.