High blood pressure is a common condition that affects more than a quarter of all adults in the UK. But you could easily lower your chances of the condition at home by regularly doing gardening.
High blood pressure – which is also known as hypertension – puts extra stress on blood vessels and vital organs.
The condition could lead to some deadly complications, including strokes and heart attacks.
It could be caused by eating an unhealthy diet, or by not doing enough exercise.
One of the best exercises for hypertension is gardening, it’s been revealed.
Gardening is surprisingly just as effective at protecting against hypertension as some other more common workouts, according to nutritionist Dr Sarah Brewer.
Your gardening should leave you feeling warm and slightly out of breath, in order to reap the benefits.
These types of exercise, known as aerobic exercises, helps to dilate blood vessels, which subsequently lowers your blood pressure.
Everyone should be aiming for around 150 minutes of exercise every week.
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“Exercise dilates blood vessels and reduces the force against which your heart has to pump blood through the circulation,” said Dr Brewer, on her website, MyLowerBloodPressure.com.
“It boosts blood flow through your muscles so that pressure elsewhere in the body is reduced.
“Physical activity doesn’t need to be vigorous. Brisk walking for 30 to 60 minutes a day, most days of the week, produces significant benefits for people with hypertension.
“Activities such as gardening and dancing are just as effective as swimming or cycling for heart health. Any activity that leaves you feeling warm and slightly out of breath is doing you good.”
But equally, there are certain exercises that you should avoid if you have high blood pressure.
Sprinting and weightlifting may be triggering quick spikes in blood pressure.
Blood pressure that rapidly increases puts added stress on the heart, warned charity Blood Pressure UK.
You should speak to a doctor about your blood pressure before starting any new sprinting workout, if you have hypertension.
High blood pressure is often known as ‘the silent killer’, because symptoms only tend to reveal themselves if you have extremely high blood pressure.
The most common high blood pressure symptoms include a pounding in your chest, finding blood in your urine, and severe headaches.
It’s crucial that all adults over 40 years old check their blood pressure at least once every five years.
You can check your blood pressure by visiting your local doctors’ surgery or pharmacy.
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