You know that getting moving can help lower your blood pressure, manage your weight, strengthen your heart, and make you feel healthier. But if you’re not exercising regularly, the thought of jumping into a sweaty, chest-pounding activity might seem overwhelming. The good news: When it comes to lowering blood pressure, even moderate exercise can help make a big difference.
How much exercise?
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, and some organizations suggest a goal of 30 minutes per day. Several studies have found that regular aerobic exercise — activity that increases the heart rate — can help lower both systolic (top) and diastolic (bottom) blood pressure, whether moderate or intense. In fact, if you’re less accustomed to working out, low-intensity activity could help you lower your blood pressure even more than vigorous activity, say some researchers.
The best way to move
So what type of low-intensity exercise should you consider? The activity that gets your heart rate up and puts a smile on your face so you’re more likely to stick with it is your best bet. Choose any activity that sounds like fun, and get moving — and improve your heart health — today.
Here are some low-intensity exercises you can try:
- Tai Chi
- Water aerobics