Exercise and High Blood Pressure
You've just been told that you have high blood pressure, and now your doctor tells you that you have to exercise. Is he nuts? You've got high blood pressure: Start exercising and you're likely to have a heart attack!
Exercise helps us tone muscles, relieve stress and lose weight — all factors that contribute to lowering high blood pressure. Besides, your doctor isn't asking you to run a marathon. Exercise takes many forms. Here are some tips to starting your high blood pressure exercise program.
Start off Slowly
Consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.
When you start a high blood pressure exercise program you don't have to join an expensive gym, or engage in heavy exercise. Moderate exercise works wonders. When you're starting out, engage in thirty minutes of moderate activity a day.
Now, here's the important part: Those 30 minutes need not be back-to-back. Take the dog for a fifteen-minute walk, spend five minutes using the stairs in the office and take a brisk ten-minute walk at lunch. Bang — there's thirty minutes! And you haven't had to lift a single weight or squeeze into an ego-destroying spandex outfit.
Do Something You Enjoy
The best exercise program is one that you enjoy doing and are likely to keep doing. Most exercise programs fail because people lose interest in them over time. We often define exercise in a very narrow sense — the gym, weight training, and aerobics are exercise. Playing tag with the kids, walking to the store, and tossing a ball with the dog aren't, which is, of course, dead wrong. If you love weight training, great; if you prefer spending ten minutes having a play wrestle with the dog, that's fine too. The point is to get moving.
Alternative Exercise Options
Walk the dog.
Take the stairs.
Play ball with the kids.
Swim a few laps.
Do some gardening.
Take your sweetheart dancing.
Learn tai chi.
Start an aquacise class.