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Exercises to lower your blood pressure

20 June 2017 ( 15 February 2019 )

Professor Greg Whyte OBE, world-renowned sports scientist and Comic Relief trainer, on why exercise can help you lower your blood pressure.

Couple working out in the park
Exercise outdoors to help you exercise more often and for longer.

As we age, controlling blood pressure is vital. The risk of cardiovascular disease doubles for each 20mmHg increase in your systolic reading. Shedding excess weight can significantly reduce this measure, while 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days can lower it by 10mmHg. So try the following…

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Be strong

Strength exercises are linked to improvements in blood pressure control. Aim for two sessions a week doing such simple tasks as repeatedly standing up and sitting down on a chair, climbing the stairs or doing press-ups.

Your home muscle-strengthening programme

Get out of breath

Any form of aerobic exercise, such as walking, cycling or jogging, at an intensity that allows you to talk – but not sing – is useful.

Walking vs jogging: which is better for your health?

The ‘green gym’

Exercising in the great outdoors – a hill walk or park run – with interesting views can reduce your perception of effort. You’ll exercise for longer and more often.

Find a woodland workout near you

The ‘blue gym’

Swim lengths or try aquarobics. Combine two or three ‘green’ and ‘blue’ sessions each week.

Swimming for fitness

Relax

Combat stress with yoga, tai chi and pilates.

Learn more about  tai chi

Learn more about yoga

Learn more about pilates

This article was first published in the July 2017 issue of Saga Magazine.

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Disclaimer

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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