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Research Reveal 2 Best Exercises to Lower Blood Pressure

In the quest for managing blood pressure, aerobic exercises have long been considered the gold standard. However, groundbreaking research has now shed light on another type of physical activity that could be a game-changer in preventing and treating hypertension – isometric exercises. Unlike traditional movement-based exercises, isometric exercises, such as wall squats and planks, engage muscles without visible movement, and they have been found to be highly effective in reducing blood pressure levels. In this blog, we will discuss some exercises to lower blood pressure according to new research.

Isometric Exercise Emerges as a Potential Solution

A large-scale study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine reveals that isometric exercises, where muscles contract without noticeable length changes and joints remain stable, maybe the best approach for lowering blood pressure. Dr. Jamie O’Driscoll, a co-author of the study and a cardiovascular physiology expert at Canterbury Christ Church University’s School of Psychology and Life Sciences in England, highlights that isometric exercise training significantly reduces both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Challenging Existing Exercise Guidelines

Current exercise guidelines for blood pressure management primarily advocate aerobic or cardio exercises like running or cycling. However, these guidelines are based on older research that overlooks newer exercise protocols, including high-intensity interval training and isometric training. To address this, researchers delved into randomized controlled trials conducted between 1990 and February 2023, examining the effects of exercise interventions lasting two or more weeks on blood pressure.

Key Findings and Effectiveness

The meta-analysis, comprising 270 trials with 15,827 participants, revealed that among various exercise types, isometric exercise stood out as the most effective in reducing blood pressure. The reductions in blood pressure after different exercises were as follows: aerobic exercise – 4.49/2.53 mmHg, dynamic resistance training – 4.55/3.04 mmHg, combined training – 6.04/2.54 mmHg, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) – 4.08/2.50 mmHg, and isometric exercise – 8.24/4 mmHg.

Understanding Isometric Exercise

Isometric exercises can be performed with or without weights, utilizing the body’s own weight to engage muscles. Wall squats, where individuals squat against a wall, and planks are common examples of isometric exercises. The findings suggest that isometric exercise training should be considered for developing updated exercise guidelines targeting arterial hypertension prevention and treatment.

Incorporating Isometric Exercises into Routine

According to experts, isometric training programs often involve four two-minute contractions, separated by one- to four-minute rest intervals, three times a week. Combining isometric exercises with other forms of enjoyable physical activity could lead to sustained commitment and better blood pressure management.

Holistic Lifestyle Changes for Optimal Health

While isometric exercises show promise in reducing blood pressure, experts emphasize that other lifestyle factors also play a crucial role in maintaining overall health. Maintaining a healthy weight, consuming a balanced diet, reducing salt intake, moderate alcohol consumption, and adhering to prescribed medication are equally important considerations.

Conclusion

The latest research highlights the potential of isometric exercise to lower blood pressure. As scientists delve further into the benefits of isometric training, healthcare professionals may soon incorporate these findings into updated exercise guidelines, providing individuals with additional tools to combat hypertension and enhance their overall well-being.

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