Sporting activity and exercise can help against high blood pressure. But which exercises or sports are particularly suitable for effectively counteracting high blood pressure, and which should be avoided?
A chronic increase in blood pressure in the arterial blood vessels, such as high blood pressure, is considered a significant risk factor for various diseases and health problems. For example, high blood pressure increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Ten minutes of intense physical activity
Just ten minutes of continuous intense physical activity a day is associated with lower systolic blood pressure, according to a study. All activities that cause a sharp increase in breathing or heart rate must be taken into account.
A high level of physical activity and a positive attitude towards physical activity were associated with lower blood pressure values in the study, the researchers report.
Aerobic exercise to lower blood pressure
According to further research, people with high blood pressure (at least 140/90 mmHg) can reduce it particularly effectively through aerobic training.
According to the experts, activities such as walking, running, cycling or swimming are suitable for this. The reduction in blood pressure that can be achieved through aerobic activity in people with high blood pressure is comparable to or can even exceed antihypertensive medication.
Strength training to reduce high blood pressure
If there is only elevated blood pressure but not high blood pressure, the team says dynamic resistance training is the most effective way to lower it. For example, strength training that involves at least six large muscle groups is ideal.
In general, it should be noted that the exercises are carried out as regularly as possible, because the blood pressure-lowering effect of exercise and sporting activity only lasts for around 24 hours. It is therefore advisable to be physically active every day.
The German Heart Foundation also emphasizes that regular exercise is ideal for lowering blood pressure. The blood pressure-lowering effect of physical activity has been well proven by scientific studies.
The higher the initial blood pressure, the greater the effect
Although the stress initially increases blood pressure, it then drops below the initial level for some time. The following applies: the higher the initial blood pressure, the greater the effect.
According to experts, endurance sports such as running, walking, cycling and swimming are generally particularly good for lowering blood pressure. However, it is expressly pointed out that exercise to lower blood pressure should be done as regularly and as long as possible.
Exercise three times a week if possible
The German Heart Foundation recommends exercise at moderate intensity for around 30 to 45 minutes at least three times a week. The ideal intensity of exercise during training is around 70 percent of the maximum heart rate.
According to experts, sports such as gymnastics, table tennis, golf or light strength training are also suitable for lowering blood pressure. However, anyone who has high blood pressure should avoid maximum strength training (e.g. weight lifting) and particularly high-intensity sports such as ice hockey and squash.
Around two months ago, a British research team provided a clear answer to the question of which sporting exercises are most effective in lowering blood pressure. Accordingly, isometric training such as wall sitting and so-called planking is associated with the greatest reduction in blood pressure.
However, other forms of exercise also had a significant effect and most activities and exercises were effective in reducing high blood pressure. Only sports with particularly high intensity are rather unsuitable for high blood pressure. (as)