High blood pressure could cause serious and potentially life-threatening health complications. Dangerous side effects of poorly managed blood pressure include heart disease, kidney disease and stroke. The condition is a complex one as there are no obvious symptoms at first and when signs eventually do appear its often too late. A study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session Together with World Congress of Cardiology shed some light on the condition and offers hope to those wanting and needing to lower their blood pressure.
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The latest research was part of the Framingham Heart Study which is a project focussing on factors affecting heart disease and has been ongoing for more than 70 years.
Researchers looked at data from 638 study participants who were asked to wear an Apple Watch daily and their blood pressure was recorded at home weekly.
Over the course of the study, participants blood pressure was remarkably lower after doing this exercise.
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The study found that walking had an incredible affect on one’s blood pressure reading.
Dr Mayank Sardana from the University of California said of the findings: “Measuring habitual physical activity in community-based settings in this way distinguishes our study from prior studies that have looked at either self-reported physical activity or used accelerometers to measure daily activity for only a short amount of time, usually about a week.
“The study found that people who took more steps daily, as tracked by their watch, had lower blood pressure on average than those taking fewer steps.”
Dr Mayank continued: “This study solidifies our understanding of the relationship between physical activity and blood pressure and raises the possibility that obesity or body mass index accounts for a lot of that relationship.
“Going forward, it would be useful to look at how smart devices might be leveraged to promote physical activity, reduce the burden of obesity and potentially reduce blood pressure.”
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The NHS added: “We have known for years that exercise is a great way to keep blood pressure at a healthy level.
“Numerous studies shows under laboratory conditions what a difference a 30-minute walk can make to someone who has been otherwise sedentary for much of the day.
“It’s interesting that, especially for woman, there was an added effect if they also got up and walked around every half, avoiding the effects of lengthy periods of sitting.
“It’s the sort of programme people who spend a lot of time sitting down could adopt in their daily lives – for example, a half-hour walk in the morning, then getting up to make a cup of tea or just walk around every half hour.
“It could also be useful for people who are retired, reminding them to take a walk in the morning and get up regularly throughout the day.”
Other ways to naturally lower blood pressure
Mayo Clinic said: “If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you might be worried about taking medication to bring your numbers down.
“Lifestyle plays an important role in treating your high blood pressure.
“If you successfully control your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle, you might avoid, delay or reduce the need for medication.
“Doing this such as losing weight, exercising regularly, reducing the amount of alcohol consumed, eating less salt and eating less saturated fat are all natural ways to lower your reading.”
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