There is a definite correlation between walking and blood pressure. And it’s a good one. Did you know as little as thirty minutes of walking a mere three times a week might be enough to significantly lower your blood pressure?
This guide will explain just how walking and blood pressure are related, so you can make the necessary changes in your life to create a healthier heart and longer longevity. And doing so may be as simple as putting one foot in front of the other.
Many sufferers of high blood pressure may also suffer from the incorrect assumption that extremely intense physical activity is needed to have any significant impact on BP readings. But fortunately, that does not appear to be the case.
Studies on Walking and Blood Pressure
A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health cited research taken from 106 healthy civil servants who participated in a twelve week exercise program. All of the participants had sedentary jobs, which provided little to no physical activity.
One third of the field was directed to take brisk walks for thirty minutes a day, five days a week. Another third were simply asked to walk briskly for thirty minutes a day for only three days a week. The remaining volunteers were told to alter their lifestyles in no way at all. The thirty minute time period was chosen because research has led to many programs in the United States and other countries which tout this minimum number as a daily requirement for moderate exercise to maintain healthy fitness levels.
Study participants wore pedometers to monitor their walking levels, with researchers frequently measuring blood cholesterol, hip, weight and waist size, as well as the all-important blood pressure. These measurements were taken before and after the study, which showed a systolic blood pressure drop of 5 and 6 points respectively for those volunteers which participated in a walking regimen for three and five days. Waist and hip measurements also decreased by roughly 2.4 cm, with no changes found in the sedentary volunteer group.
And a researcher at Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Mark A. Tully, said that a decrease of just a few points in BP, accompanied with even a very small reduction in waist and hip size, can significantly reduce your risk of death due to a myriad of heart diseases. This is because the physical act of walking promotes healthy blood flow to all areas of your body.
During walking and other exercises, your systolic blood pressure ramps up to increase blood flow, which delivers much-needed oxygen to your working muscles. Make a concerted effort to add more walking to your daily routine, and the simple exercise can help regulate your blood pressure, keeping your heart healthy and strong. Yes, walking and blood pressure have a close relationship indeed.
If you’d like to get more out of your walking for fitness plan, check out the “Guide to Setting Your Walking Fitness Goals” for more in depth knowledge on the subject of walking for fitness. While you’re there, be sure to sign up for the free MyFitnessNut.com Newsletter to be kept up to date on the latest health and fitness topics.