If you’re battling high blood pressure, you may be searching for natural ways to get your levels under control. Exercise is one effective way to lower blood pressure, but if the thought of running on a treadmill makes you groan, here’s some good news: walking can be just as effective.
How To Lower Your Blood Pressure In Minutes With Walking
Yes, walking can lower blood pressure.
In fact, a Korean study found that walking just 40 minutes a day was enough to lower blood pressure in people with hypertension.
Another study out of the U.S. found that walking also offered cardiovascular benefits to those who were morbidly obese.
As part of the Korean study, men with pre-hypertension or hypertension took either four, 10-minute walks or a 40-minute walk at a 3-4mph pace. Blood pressure dropped significantly after each type of exercise.
Those who took a straight 40-minute walk saw a slightly larger decline in levels compared to those who took the quick 10-minute walks. Those results were ground breaking for those looking for a non medication approach to tackling their BP.
Walking to Lower Blood Pressure Tips
Walking can be an effective way to lower blood pressure, and for some, being more active is enough to control high blood pressure without having to take medication.
Here are some tips to help you maximize the blood-pressure-lowering benefits of walking.
How To Lower Your BP in 10 Minutes
You lead a busy life. Your schedule is packed. When would you ever have time for a 40-minute walk?
Instead of trying to cram in a long walk late at night or very early in the morning – when you’re probably very tired – try taking brisk, 10-minute walks four times a day.
Just 10 minutes of brisk walking (3-4mph) is enough to lower blood pressure. Many people find that it’s much easier to spread out their exercise sessions during the day. For example, you can try walking:
- Before work
- At lunch
- After work
- After dinner
Feel free to fit in those 10-minute walks at any time during the day. If mid-morning is a good time for you, then go for a walk during this time.
The key is to make the quickie workouts fit into your schedule.
Don’t Stroll Leisurely – Walk Briskly
The more intense your workout, the more calories you burn – right? Walking leisurely on a treadmill won’t do much to help you lose weight. This same concept applies when walking to lower your blood pressure.
Walking at a leisurely pace will do little to lower your blood pressure, but walking at a brisk pace will.
Make sure that you’re walking at a pace of 3-4mph. And while you’re walking, try bending your elbows and swinging your arms to get in an arm workout while you walk.
Bring a Friend to Keep You Motivated
Maintaining a workout routine is much easier and more enjoyable when you bring a friend along. Whether it’s a co-worker, neighbor, close friend or your four-legged companion, bringing someone along for your walks will make you accountable and more likely to stick to your routine.
It will also help others stay healthy and give you a chance to socialize while you exercise.
When friends come along, you actually look forward to getting out and going for a walk.
Change the Scenery
Taking walks along the same route every single day can become monotonous. Try changing things up by walking in new places from time to time. The change in scenery will keep you motivated and immersed in the experience.
If you’re across town running errands, go for a stroll through the nearby park instead of taking the usual route around the neighborhood. Be spontaneous.
If you can spare 10 minutes, don’t be afraid to squeeze in your walk in different places or at different times.
Prioritize an Evening Walk
Make it a point to take a walk in the early evening or after dinner. Blood pressure levels tend to rise in the evening hours, and a brisk 10-minute walk can help bring levels down a normal level.
Why Does My Blood Pressure Go Up in the Evenings?
If you’re keeping a close eye on your blood pressure, you may have noticed that your blood pressure readings are higher in the evenings than they are in the mornings.
Many external factors can influence your levels in the evening, such as:
- Hot baths, or warm showers
- Eating dinner
- Working the night shift
It was once believed that elevated blood pressure readings in the evening meant a higher risk of stroke. But new research suggests that high readings in the morning may be a better indication of stroke risk.
Your blood pressure may rise in the evening if you have a stressful home life or something gives you anxiety in the evening. But it can also be an indication of:
- Kidney disease
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Cardiovascular disease
- Thyroid issues
- Nervous system issues
If your blood pressure is consistently high in the evening, you may need to switch to a 24-hour medication. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about your higher evening readings. It may be an external factor that’s influencing your blood pressure, or it may be an indication of an underlying health condition.
If you’re looking for a more natural way to lower your blood pressure, walking is a great option. Along with getting your levels under control, you’ll also enjoy cardiovascular and weight loss benefits. It doesn’t matter whether you walk for 40 minutes straight or in four, 10-minute blocks. The key most important thing is that you’re moving and becoming more active. Your consistency will pay off in the end.