Exercise Can Help Lower Your Blood PressureArticle posted in: Fitness
A recent study conducted at the Healthy Lifestyles Research Center at Arizona State University (ASU) found that short workouts spread over the course of the day may be more effective at fighting high blood pressure (BP) than a single longer workout. That’s great news for those of us who like to get up and move around during the course of the day.
Exercise helps to lower blood pressure by making blood vessels less stiff, thus making blood flow easier. This happens during and right after a workout, so lower blood pressure readings tend to occur right after your session. That means that the best way to have lower BP as a result of exercise is to split your exercise into several sessions a day rather than just one. The ASU study found that people who took three 10-minute walks each day were less prone to spikes in their BP than those who took a single 30-minute walk. Spikes indicate an inability to control BP, and are a sign of higher BP.
That same study found that people who couldn’t get out for a walk but who stood at their desks or walked on treadmills in front of computers had lower BP. The bottom line? Pretty much anything is better than just sitting around. Walking, jogging, cycling, yoga, weight lifting, you name it: any type of movement helped lower or control blood pressure.
If you’re on a Nutrisystem program, you know that we recommend 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week, and that we like bite-size pieces, too. That’s what our My Daily 3 is all about: getting 30 minutes of movement each day, broken down into three 10-minute sessions if you’d like. A 10-minute walk sure sounds less daunting than a 30-minute walk, especially if you’re just getting back into the swing of things. And now, it’s nice to know those 10-minute sessions can go a long way toward helping lower your blood pressure.