How Does Exercise Lower Blood Pressure – Guide
You might be thinking something like, “Exercise increases blood pressure. Why would it lower my blood pressure?”
Although you are not incorrect, the rise of blood pressure is temporary and works the heart in a way that improves its ability to maintain your blood pressure. Your heart is a muscle, so you can work it like other muscles. You put it under stress and allow it to recover.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Check with your doctor before starting any exercise plan. Most who are at risk in terms of their blood pressure are required to do a light exercise routine to ease them into a more intense one. Please check with your doctor before taking any advice online.
Light Load, High Reps
When working out, avoid heavy loads starting out. Go for a light load, high reps, and active recovery. An example might be barbell curls. Start with a lightweight and do as many reps as you can. Then move onto an exercise that recruits more muscles than the previous.
Active recovery is the idea of using the same muscle that you just tired, but recruiting more muscles to allow the previous muscle group to fully tire itself out.
So just like the muscle will recover from the workout, so will your heart. So it is important to allow your heart time to rest in between sets and workouts.
Good Recovery Habits
Just as I said, allow your heart proper rest. You need to develop better eating habits and good sleep schedules in order for your body to fully recover. If you have a hard time keeping a healthy diet, check with your doctor. They may be able to give you options for monthly services. (Like Blue Apron)
Sleep is so important. All of your recoveries occur during sleep. So if you get little of it, or it is not actually restful sleep, you will not recover as fast, or as well as if you had a good 8-10 hours of shut-eye. If you have problems with sleep, consider getting a sleep study done to ensure you don’t have a disorder like sleep apnea(Not breathing in your sleep)
Or, remove all of your devices from your bedroom and only use it for sleep. You must sleep well to recover and stay healthy in general.
Recovery also has to do with your eating habits. Ensure you are eating lot’s of veggies and fruits and following your doctor’s directions.
How Exercise Helps Blood Vessels
I’m sure you have heard of Cardio! These exercises are the ones that are good for burning fat and getting your heart rate up. They aren’t hard to do most of the time, but they do require a bit of endurance to continue doing.
Like running, for example, you can obviously run, but maybe not for extended periods of time. There are a few main reasons for this.
- Your muscles get tired
- Your vascular system can’t efficiently get oxygen to the muscles that need it
Just like the heart, your vascular system is like one big muscle. It needs to be worked just like any other muscle. You can work this system with regular cardiovascular exercises. Simple ones are best, things like light jogging. Bicycling or even rock climbing. Things that get you moving and out getting your heart pumping a little bit.
A quick overview of how the body works. The body has blood, and the blood cell carries oxygen when you breathe. But how does your body get the oxygen from what you breathe? What’s the direct conversion?
When you breathe the air gets to the deepest part of your lung called the alveoli. The alveoli are the part of the lung that imparts the oxygen extracted from the air to your blood cells(and whatever else is in the air). When a blood cell is in the alveoli, it also drops off all the carbon and bad stuff it collected from the whatever it passed before.
So, when the blood cell leaves the alveoli, it is called Oxyhemoglobin. When that cell hits your muscle, it gives it oxygen to continue working. Oxygen is a sort of short burst energy source for your muscles.
Studies have shown that breathing exercises can decrease blood pressure. This is not because it makes you less angry, but because it works a part of the cardiovascular system. That part that imparts the oxygen onto the rest of the body.
So before you go out and do any exercise, try to breathe very deeply and take a second to fill your body with the oxygen it will need to complete the exercise.
Square breathing is an excellent exercise for this. To perform square breathing I have made a step by step example.
- Breathe deeply in until you can’t take in any more air
- Continue trying to breathe in for five seconds
- Breathe out until you have no air in your lungs
- Continue trying to breathe out for five seconds
- Repeat 5-10 times
(Stop if you get uncomfortable, or feel overly dizzy)
Oxygen is very powerful in your body. So if you are not used to having lot’s of it in your body, you may get light headed at first. This is normal, but please do not take any risks with your health. If you feel abnormal, go see your doctor and ensure nothing is seriously wrong.
It’s all about exercise and ensuring your body is in good working order. If your blood pressure is very high, always check with your doctor about starting a new exercise plan.
If you experience any pain while working out, contact your doctor as soon as you can. This may be a sign of something serious.
when exercising, do light work, based in high reps, allow your body to recover and ensure you are doing light cardio on a regular basis.
If you need assistance exercising, most public gyms have personal training that is normally not overly expensive. I urge you to request help if you need it at any time. If you have any questions, please comment down below. I’d love to hear them!