Making exercise a habit can help lower your blood pressure. It also gives you more energy, and it’s a great way to ease stress and feel better. Check with your doctor first if you’re not already active now. He or she will make sure you’re ready for exercise. Since an active lifestyle is good for your blood pressure, your doctor is likely to be all for it.
You can do any activity you like, and you don’t need to go to a gym. As long as you’re moving around and making your heart beat a little faster or breathing harder, the activity is doing you good. This includes brisk walking, jogging, swimming, biking, lifting weights, or doing work in the garden.
To pick an activity, ask yourself these questions:
- What activities sound enjoyable?
- Do I like doing activities with others or by myself?
There are three basic types of exercise:
- Cardiovascular, or aerobic, exercise can help lower your blood pressure and make your heart stronger. Examples include walking, jogging, skipping, cycling (exercise bike or bicycle), cross-country skiing, skating, rowing, high- or low-impact aerobics, swimming, and water aerobics.
- Strength training builds strong muscles that help you burn more calories throughout the day. It’s also good for your joints and bones.
- Stretching makes you more flexible, helps you move better, and prevents injury.
Ways to stick with exercise:
- Make it fun! You’ll be more likely to stick with it if enjoyment figures prominently.
- Schedule exercise into your daily routine. Plan when you’re going to exercise and put it in your diary.
- Find a friend to exercise with. This helps with motivation and invariably you enjoy it more, too.ps with motivation and invariably you enjoy it more, too.ps with motivation and invariably you enjoy it more, too.
Being active is one of the best things you can do for your blood pressure. Ask your doctor if there are any limits to what you should try.