Exercising at least four hours a week reduces the risk of high blood pressure by 19 percent compared to those who exercise less than 60 minutes weekly, research finds.
Activities outside work, like walking or cycling to work, jogging, swimming, and in general playing any sport, or doing any sort of exercise can be helpful.
Leisure time activities help lower blood pressure, enhance insulin sensitivity, help weight loss, reduce anxiety and depression symptoms and more.
Researchers checked the effect of physical activity on blood pressure by reviewing studies involving 136,846 people in Europe, East Asia, and USA.
One to three hours weekly exercise during leisure time lowered the risk of high blood pressure by 11 percent, compared to those who exercised less than 60 minutes weekly.
In short, increasing physical activities will bring the blood pressure to its healthy level.
The most common risk factor for heart-related disease, stroke, and kidney disease is high blood pressure, which can lead to many disabilities.
Researchers predict that 1.56 billion adults will suffer from high blood pressure by 2025.
At the moment, 1 in 3 US adults aged 20 and over have high blood pressure — tabout 80 million people.
High blood pressure is defined as a reading of 140/90 mmHg (millimetres of mercury).
The issue is that high blood pressure in many people can remain untreated since it shows no symptoms.
Dr Wei Ma, study co-author, said:
“Hypertension is a risk factor for cardiovascular and kidney disease — thus, it is important to prevent and control hypertension. To try to lower your risk of high blood pressure, you should exercise more in your leisure time.
Recreational exercise may affect several factors tied to high blood pressure — helping people keep off extra pounds, improving poor insulin sensitivity or reducing the blood vessels’ resistance to blood flow.”
About the author
Mina Dean is a Nutritionist and Food Scientist. She holds a BSc in Human Nutrition and an MSc in Food Science.
The study was published in the journal of Hypertension (Huai et al., 2013).