Importance of Exercise for Treating and Preventing Hypertension

High Blood Pressure, or hypertension, carries with it a number of health risks. There are many factors that can increase blood pressure, such as stress, smoking, and certain foods. So, in those who have been diagnosed with hypertension, eating right and avoiding stress is very important. Exercise is another important tool that can help reduce blood pressure and is important for treating hypertension.

Exercise is, of course, essential for a healthy body and has many benefits aside from simply helping with hypertension, but it has been shown to reduce the need for hypertension medicine and in general help with blood pressure related problems.

One of the most important roles exercise has in treating hypertension is the reduction of buildups in the arteries. These buildups are caused by collections of plauqe, which travel through the blood and ultimately collect on the walls of arteries. Overtime, these buildups reduce the size of the artery, increasing blood pressure. This process, which is called atherosclerosis, works similarily to the way you can increase the pressure coming out of a water hose by putting your finger over the end. In someone with atherosclerosis, these buildups cause an increase in blood pressure, often causing hypertension.

Exercise can help with atherosclerosis, as it causes an increase in the certain enzymes and proteins, which help break down these buildups. Exercise also helps to reduce the risk of a blood clot, which is a serious risk for those with atherosclerosis, as well as other conditions.

Another benefit of exercise is that it helps to improve the strength and condition of the endothelium, which is the lining on the arteries responsible for ensuring proper lubrication, as well as aiding with contraction and expansion of the arteries.

These are not the only benefits of exercise and it also helps to improve bone strength, offer a stronger immune system, and help with weight control. Often, these benefits do not directly relate to hypertension, but instead help to mediate some other factors that are at an increased risk for developing in those with blood pressure problems.

Also, since mood, anxiety, and stress can cause increases to blood pressure, preforming regular exercise can help with stress levels, reducing the overall blood pressure of a person.

Of course, on the flip side of this, those with hypertension are at increased risk for strokes and heart attacks, so this must always be taken into account. Especially when preforming very strenuous activities. For this reason, aerobic and low impact exercises are often recommended for those who might be at risk of heart disease or who are over 55.

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