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  • Writer's pictureDmitri Konash

The Surprising Benefits of Walking to Lower Blood Pressure

Updated: May 30, 2023

Looking for a natural way to lower your blood pressure? Walking may be the answer! Read on to find out how this easy exercise can benefit your health.


Walking to lower blood pressure is a natural way to manage hypertension


High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a common health issue that may lead to heart attack, stroke and kidney failure. Usually doctors prescribe medication which helps to manage blood pressure. However this medication comes with side effects. Discuss with your doctor how lifestyle changes like brisk walking can be integrated in your treatment plan.


I developed a habit of walking every day as a way to fight anxiety and high blood pressure. My hypertension developed as a result of work related stress in my mid 40s.

I took to heart advice from my doctor and everyday walking has become one of the first steps in my journey from a stressed out exec to an endurance race finisher in my lates 50s. This post explains how moderate aerobic exercise like walking can help to blood pressure and where to start.

The link between walking and blood pressure


When you walk, your heart rate increases, which helps to strengthen your heart and improve blood flow. Blood flow improves because blood vessels become more flexible with training. Additionally, walking can help to reduce stress and anxiety, which are both risk factors for high blood pressure.


Studies have shown that regular aerobic exercise like walking can lead to a reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, making it a great natural remedy for hypertension [1] .


How much walking is needed to see results


The amount of walking needed to see results in lowering blood pressure can vary depending on the individual. American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercises per week [2].


Consistency is key: make walking a regular part of your routine. If you’re just starting out, begin with shorter walks and gradually increase the duration and intensity over time. Always consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.


Other health benefits of walking


In addition to lowering blood pressure, walking has other health benefits. It improves cardiovascular health, strengthen bones and muscles, helps to manage weight, reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes. Walking is a low-impact exercise, making it a great option for people of all ages and fitness levels. Walking also stimulates our longevity [3]. So, lace up your sneakers and start reaping the benefits of walking today


Tips for incorporating walking into your daily routine


Walking is an accessible form of exercise that can easily be incorporated into your daily routine. Here are some tips to help you get started:


1. Write a top reason why you will walk every single day.

Make it very visible. Like a note on your fridge or wallpaper for your phone. In my case it was simple: the doctor said that if I do not start exercising I am likely to end up in an Emergency Room with a stroke or heart attack because of high blood pressure. I really got scared and I certainly did NOT want this to happen.


2. Plan HOW LONG will be your first walks and stick with it.

If you just starting - talk to your doctor. She may recommend that you need to start from just 100 steps a day. That’s exactly what my father did when he was recovering from a stroke in a hospital. He started from just a few steps with nurses and family helping him and built from there. He in his early 90s now and he made it a rule for himself to walk for 1 mile every day, even when it is raining or snowing.


3. Make walking an everyday habit.

The only way to make it a habit is to walk EVERY day. No exception. If it is raining outside and you allow yourself to miss a walk just one day it may lead to another miss and then another one and so on. By incorporating walking into your daily routine, you can improve your overall health and lower your blood pressure naturally.


Experts say that new habits stick easier if they follow immediately an already established habit. Decide WHEN you will work. For example, my wife and myself go for a walk after dinner. It helps us to digest our meals and clear our minds before going to sleep.


4. Measure progress.

As the famous British scientist Lord Kelvin said: “If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.” At the most basic level your smartphone or smartwatch will count your steps, distance, walking time and calories burned.


Our blood pressure app BreathNow takes it to the next level. It goes beyond just tracking your steps. It also tracks your blood pressure (based on the data from external blood pressure monitors) and provides you insights on how much walking helps to lower blood pressure in your particular situation.


Combining walking with other healthy habits for optimal results.


While walking is a great way to improve your health and lower your blood pressure, it’s important to combine it with other healthy habits for optimal results.

I got on my way of lowering anxiety with breathing exercises and then started integrating moderate aerobic exercise (brisk walking) in my daily routine.


Blood pressure app BreathNow helps to manage blood pressure according to the American Heart Association blood pressure chart

Then I started to add to my routine short High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) which provides additional benefits to lowering blood pressure. This is why our Blood Pressure app BreathNow includes all these types of exercises and more. Give it a try and let us know how it helped you to lower blood pressure.


Remember, small changes can lead to big results, so start by incorporating walking into your routine and build from there.


References:

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