Hypertension is a global health problem that is increasing by the day. Many people today suffer from this condition at a younger age. This may be due to the stress of modern lifestyle. Too much stress couples with a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy dietary habits contribute significantly to the development of this disease. High blood pressure can lead to heart attack and stroke. It is a dangerous condition because you may not even know that you have it. Many people find out that they have hypertension after suffering a major health crisis like stroke. There may be no symptoms and you may find out that your blood pressure levels are elevated after visiting a doctor for a routine checkup. So, it is always best to try and prevent your pressure levels from shooting up.
One way of maintaining your blood pressure levels is by regular exercise. Any kind of physical activity helps. But according to many experts, regular aerobic exercise like brisk walking is the best. It is also easy to do, and you can pace it out according to your convenience. You may also throw in a bit of strength training to your fitness routine to derive the maximum benefit out of your workout session. But before you start working, here are a few things that you need to keep in mind. And of course, consult your doctor before starting.
How much is enough?
According to the American Heart Association, just 150 minutes of brisk walking per week is enough to bring down your blood pressure levels. You can easily do this if you walk for just 30 minutes every day for 5 days. You can also include some lite exercises like stretches for variation. Alternatively, you may also walk uphill if you stay in a hilly region or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Anything that increases your heat rate and makes you breathe faster will help. On the other two days of the week, just do some housework instead of lounging around on the couch. Being active is the key to maintaining an ideal blood pressure level.
Walk the right way
When you start out, go slow initially for a warm-up. After a few minutes, pick up your pace. Be aware of your posture throughout. Walk straight with your chin up and eyes looking forward. Take long powerful strides. Breathe deeply as you walk. This will help you maintain your pace without feeling breathless.
The right footwear will make a difference
You need good walking shoes to make this time enjoyable. Flat and flexible shoes are the best for walking. It must be comfortable and fit well. The right footwear will also prevent injury and aches and pain.
Choose your clothes with care
Be sure to wear comfortable clothes when you go out for a walk. Choose clothes made from breathable fabric. Avoid tight fits as it can get irritating when you get sweaty. Instead go for loose clothes that does not hamper your movements in any way.
It is important to stay hydrated while exercising. Dehydration can have an adverse effect on blood pressure levels. You don’t have to guzzle down a litre of water before starting out. Just take sips from a water bottle that you carry at regular interval or whenever you feel thirsty.
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