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Blood Pressure Benefits from Exercise

Blog from Victoria

When you have a widely fluctuating blood pressure that reflects your pace of life it is critical to find ways to help manage the peaks.

Medication helps. Taking the right dose of medication is important because you don’t want to be taking a high dose if your blood pressure is in a lowered state.

Identifying the cause of blood pressure peaks also makes a significant difference if you want to find ways to help flatten out the peaks and lows.

Since COVID and the different business challenges in the past year I have discovered that my blood pressure can fluctuate from 180/95, when I am in full flight with many balls in the air, to 90/55, when I have road-cycled 70km to Lamb Island from Bald Hills. It is no good taking a higher dose of meds all the time because it is not needed when the reading drops.

Research indicates that our blood pressure management is helped significantly by the right combination and quantity of exercise, and that regular sessions of physical activity over time increase this effectiveness.

My blood pressure management works for me however I would always recommend working with your doctor or cardiologist to fine-tune your medication to accommodate your physical activity.

So what exercise helps lower my blood pressure?

On three days of the week I combine stationary cycling with some stair jogging and stool stepping. I do this for a total of 40 minutes and follow this up with some Leg Press. This activity not only causes my blood pressure to drop but also keeps my legs strong and keeps my bilateral knee replacements moving well.

On two days I walk around Lamb Island, up and down, for 60 minutes. It is an amazing place and very calming.

Then on the remaining two days of the week I do my road ride, to Lamb Island from the Green Apple on Thursday and back again in the weekend. Despite riding on busy roads, I find this activity mentally restful.

My physical activity choices, and the amount of exercise that I do, is the result of decades of being “an exercise person”. I was lucky enough to be born into a family that believed in regular exercise so I had a wonderful head-start.

Our exercise needs to reflect what we are capable of doing so never compare yourself with anyone else. If you are new to exercise then being guided into the most achievable pathway based on what you want to get out of it is best.

Body-housekeeping tip:  Physical activity brings us so many physical and mental benefits including helping us manage our blood pressure.

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