Reducing your blood pressure naturally is easier than you might think, requiring smaller rather than major routine changes that can have a significant impact on your day-to-day health; while hopefully adding a little joy to your life at the same time!
First, let’s be realistic. Chances are, you aren’t (or: you shouldn’t be) aiming to become an athlete overnight, so thinking this is going to require a sudden intensive training regime consisting of multiple sessions a day is a negative way of approaching the issue. Thinking in smaller steps – such as 30 minutes of activity each day – rather than trying to achieve your bigger goals straight away will help you stop procrastinating and get started!
Simply walking, for example, is one of the best common exercises you can do. Walking through a local park is a clever way not only to get some light exercise but to help clear the mind of the day’s worries. Stress can also be a factor in high blood pressure, so finding an activity that helps you relax a little while getting some exercise can be essential in good all-around health.
Jogging is the next step up from this, though you can combine it with walking if you’d like to set yourself the challenge of doing it in bursts. Jogging in shorter bursts, in fact, can be as effective in exercise training as a longer unbroken run. Again, combining this activity with the sights and sounds of a local park, the countryside, or even the beach if you live nearby, can also do wonders for helping clear your mind. Joining a local running club could help with motivation too.
Swimming is another option and may be a more comfortable or relaxing one for those who dislike being on their feet too much. Set your own goals if you’d like to push yourself, but even a slower paced swim is one of the best full-body exercises we can do and is extremely effective at controlling blood pressure.
Perhaps you’re more the competitive type; in which case a sport like tennis can be an excellent hobby to satisfy that competitive spirit while reducing the threat of high blood pressure. You don’t have to move around the court like Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal to reap the benefits of this simple yet excellent cardiovascular activity; find a level you’re comfortable with. Joining a tennis club could help keep you motivated and possibly make some new friends along the way!
Exercise can often be found where we least expect it. Maintaining a garden is a surprisingly effective hobby regarding the physical and mental benefits it provides. Other household chores such as vacuuming and even hand-washing the dishes (rather than constantly reaching for the dishwasher) can help work up a mild sweat while keeping our mind active.
Basically, the more you’re on your feet during the day, the less your risk of high blood pressure. If your lifestyle consists of sitting still for numerous hours at a time, aim to break it up by getting to your feet and doing another activity for 5-10 minutes each hour.
Follow some of these simple steps, and you’ll start reaping the benefits before you know it!
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Also published on Medium.