You could very effectively treat high blood pressure by exercising. The challenge with most people is that exercise takes time and most busy people cannot spare the time. Latest research now shows that interval training is an effective exercise for high blood pressure. Interval training is all about doing short bouts of intense exercise. Researchers say that these short sessions are as effective as very long conventional cardio sessions.
Table of Contents for Article
- 1 Arterial Stiffness Causes Increase in Blood Pressure
- 2 Exercise Reduces Arterial Stiffness
- 3 Lack of Exercise Time
- 4 Exercise for High Blood Pressure
- 5 High Intensity Training Has Same Health Benefits as Steady State Cardio
- 6 The Downside of Interval Training
- 7 Time Effective Exercise for High Blood Pressure
Arterial Stiffness Causes Increase in Blood Pressure
In order to maintain effective blood pressure regulation, your arteries must be able to dilate and stretch as required. This is the way your arteries functioned when you were a teenager. The aging process increases your arterial stiffness. The key to your blood pressure regulation is to manage arterial stiffness.
Exercise Reduces Arterial Stiffness
Conventional cardio workouts have long been known to help reduce arterial stiffness. Researchers found that sedentary men who started exercising were able to regain much of their arterial flexibility. The findings were limited to cardio exercises as the research did not investigate the effects of high intensity interval training.
Lack of Exercise Time
One of the doctor’s first prescriptions for lowering blood pressure is a lifestyle change. Apart from dietary advise, a doctor would recommend exercise. Many patients already know that exercising can quickly lower blood pressure but are not able to commit the time to it. Some even ask for blood pressure lowering medication even before giving exercise a chance.
Exercise for High Blood Pressure
Researchers published a study in the American Journal of Physiology in 2008. In that study, one group did 30-second “all-out” sprints (interval training) separated by 4.5 minute recovery periods. Each of this cycle was repeated 6 times. The interval training workout was done three days a week. The other group did 40 and 60 minutes of moderate-intensity cycling five days a week.
Researchers found that six weeks of intense sprint interval workout improved the structure and function of arteries as much as traditional and longer steady state cardio. Moreover, interval training had a lesser time commitment.
High Intensity Training Has Same Health Benefits as Steady State Cardio
The findings support the idea that you can exercise using short, high-intensity workouts. These workouts have the same benefit on cardiovascular health as long-duration and moderately intense exercise. High intensity interval training provides all the health benefits of steady state cardio in a condensed work out.
Scientists knew earlier that short bursts of high intensity sprints benefited muscles and improved exercise performance. This was published in the Journal of Physiology in 2006. The later research showed that high intensity interval training also helped improve the function and structure of blood vessels. This was especially so for arteries that deliver blood to our muscles and heart.
The Downside of Interval Training
I love intervals because it allows me to have an awesome workout in a span of 20 to 30 minutes. Interval exercise for high blood pressure may be an option if you are very busy. The only downside is that you need to be relatively fit before being able to do intervals. But this should not be a deterrent as recent research has shown that you do not have to over-exert as was earlier expected.
You could start interval training on a stationary bike which is far more safer than running. You can get all the benefits of interval training by exerting at 95% of your maximal heart rate. Cycling at 95% of your maximal heart-rate may be a scary thought but remember that you only need to do this for 30 to 60 seconds. It was earlier thought that only an all out sprint gave positive benefits. An all out sprint can be 250% more exerting than cycling at 95% of your maximal heart rate.
Nevertheless, you will need to do steady state cardio for 3 to 6 months to build up your fitness levels if yo have been sedentary or have not exercised for some time.
Time Effective Exercise for High Blood Pressure
High intensity interval training is the solution for you if you cannot find time to work out. It is also an effective exercise for high blood pressure. The exercise can be completed within 20 to 30 minutes with the same positive benefits of conventional steady state cardio. The only catch is that it is hard work.