Why 150 Minutes of These Weekly Can Save Your Life
FACT: If you are able to keep control over your blood pressure with more sensible lifestyle choices—including sweating it out a couple of times a week & eating clean; you will be able to prevent, delay or eradicate the need for statin medications (and its side-effects!).
This is because lifestyle plays the most important role in the prevention, management and treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure).
How Much Exercise?
The National Health Service (NHS) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercises weekly for all adults (18 years up).
Depending on your schedule, this can be split up to three 50-minute moderate-intensity exercises weekly, or 21.4 minutes moderate-intensity daily.
Moderate-intensity exercises are simply those that use large muscle groups of the body (i.e. arms, shoulders and legs).
Intensive exercises on the other hand (i.e. sprinting or weightlifting) are best kept to a minimum if you have high blood pressure as they can quickly raise blood pressure, adding unnecessary strain on the heart.
“Being active and taking regular exercise lowers blood pressure by keeping your heart and blood vessels in good condition,” the NHS says.
“Regular exercise can also help you lose weight, which will also help lower your blood pressure.”
Exercises Proven to Quickly Combat Hypertension
Cycling is an enjoyable, low-impact activity to do with your significant other and/or grandkids! It only takes two to four hours a week to see a general improvement to your mind focus, lung power, circulation and overall health!
2. Jogging/Brisk Walking
In overweight individuals, the heart is forced to work harder to pump blood around the body. Jogging and brisk walking are fat-reducing exercises that you can do alone, with loved ones or with Charlie the pooch! Simply go for 21.4 minute jogs with your spouse or dog three to four days a week if you’re pressed for time.
“Swimming is a very attractive form of exercise... because it does not involve bearing of body weight, due to the buoyancy of water, it is friendly to knee and ankle joints,” says Dr. Hirofumi Tanaka, lead researcher of a recent study published in the American Journal of Cardiology. His team found that among 43 older adults of mixed genders, those who started swimming a few times a week were able to successfully lower their blood pressure numbers.
Blood Pressure UK says that tennis is actually one of the best choices of exercise for patients with high blood pressure as it’s a repetitive, aerobic activity that uses rhythmic movements, while working the largest muscle groups of the body—especially the heart! And if you’re a busy bee, twenty-minute games with your spouse three to four days a week will usually suffice.
High Blood Pressure or Hypertension is the cause for 15% of the deaths each year in America, according to a study done by Harvard University.
Aside from ethnicity, age and hereditary factors (high blood pressure is genetic for about 1 in 200 people in the U.S.), the most common causes of heart disease are actually "completely avoidable".
Healthy Food Choices
Daily dietary choices are critical in managing your blood pressure readings. This is where mindful eating can play a positive role.
For example, too much salt can significantly raise one’s blood pressure. So make sure you consume less than 6 grams of salt a day (about a teaspoon).
Another major heart-offender is alcohol. If you must drink, limit consumption to no more than “two drinks” per-day for men and one drink per-day for women. Generally, a drink would either mean a 12-ounce beer, a 4-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor.
More offenders include soft drinks, fried foods, processed meats, refined carbs & processed grains, and trans & saturated fats.
These have to be avoided completely, if possible.
A Little Weight Loss Goes a Long Way
Losing a few pounds goes a long way in managing your blood pressure readings.
You know you are burning calories when you start sweating! This is exactly why the NHS recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercises weekly.
At least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercises is recommended weekly for all adults by the NHS. Also knowing which food items to avoid is crucial for a healthy heart and for your well-being. Losing a little bit of weight is very helpful in blood pressure management.
Healthy Habits Tip: Supplementing with Ceylon (Sri Lanka) cinnamon every day may be good for heart health—especially in people with hypertension, says the Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It was found that just by consuming half a teaspoon a day is enough to reduce one’s blood pressure levels without the use of statin drugs.