According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the prevalence of high blood pressure among middle-aged and elderly people over 45 years old is 28%; nearly 7% of young people aged 20-39 also have high blood pressure. Although the academic community generally agrees that “exercise” is one of the good measures to lower blood pressure, it is often quite difficult for middle-aged and elderly people to develop the habit of exercise. Research now shows that simply walking 3,000 steps a day can help lower blood pressure.
Does the blood pressure machine value skyrocket when the weather changes?Study: “Walking 3,000 more steps a day” can help control blood pressure
Advertisement (Please continue reading this article)
A team from the University of Connecticut and Iowa State University in the United States recruited a total of 900 people aged 66-83 years old with high blood pressure (systolic blood pressure 130-159 mmHg, diastolic blood pressure 80-99 mmHg, or both, and who were currently taking antihypertensive medications) in sedentary older adults. The research team provided pedometers, blood pressure monitors and step diaries, and the subjects were asked to complete all statistics from September to October 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
After completing preliminary data collection, the research team began asking subjects to walk 2,700-3,000 steps a day to understand the impact of walking on blood pressure values. After a 20-week follow-up, the study found that after walking intervention, the subjects’ systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure dropped by an average of 7mmHg and 4mmHg respectively. Study author Elizabeth C. Lefferts believes the benefits of walking may be similar to those of certain blood pressure-lowering drugs.
Lefferts further pointed out that the reduction in blood pressure in the subjects was equivalent to an 11% reduction in the risk of all-cause death, a 16% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular death, an 18% reduction in the risk of heart disease, and a 36% reduction in the risk of stroke. “Daily steps is a simple metric that is easy for older adults to interpret and understand, making it an ideal target for promoting physical activity to improve health.”
Advertisement (Please continue reading this article)
Expert: For patients with high blood pressure, the positive effects of developing exercise habits are comparable to taking blood pressure lowering drugs
Study co-author Linda S. Pescatello also explained that it has been found in previous studies that when exercise is combined with drugs, exercise can help enhance the effect of blood pressure-lowering drugs. This means that exercise can indeed be used as part of anti-hypertensive therapy, and working together with medications can help patients with hypertension control their blood pressure. For those who have difficulty exercising or do not have time to exercise, walking may be the beginning of developing an exercise habit.
Pescatello’s research published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has proven that exercise alone, medication alone, or a combination of the two can reduce the blood pressure of adult patients with hypertension by 2-18 mmHg; randomized controlled trials have also shown that exercise In conjunction with medication, it can lower blood pressure by about 5-8 mmHg compared to using either medication alone. Even exercise alone can lower blood pressure by 6-9 mmHg.
Although it was found that exercise and medication behaviors are not additive or synergistic, research still points out that the combination of the two is combined with other types of exercise (such as Baduanjin, Qigong, Tai Chi, Wu Qin Xi, Yi Jin Jing, yoga, etc.). Systolic and diastolic blood pressure were reduced by 14 mmHg compared to medication alone. However, just by making a daily walking habit, you have the opportunity to see benefits in lowering your blood pressure.
What are the benefits of developing a walking habit? Harvard integrates “5 major advantages”
In addition to helping to lower blood pressure, Harvard University’s publication “Harvard Health Publishing” also shows that developing a walking habit every day can bring the following “5 benefits”:
1. Reduce the role of obesity genes:Harvard University analyzed more than 12,000 people and found that there are about 32 genes in the human body that promote obesity. The research team found that subjects who walked briskly for about an hour a day reduced their risk of being affected by obesity genes by about 50%.
2. Restrain the desire to eat sweets:Research from Exeter University in the UK has found that walking for 15 minutes a day can suppress the desire for sweets such as chocolate, and even prevent “stress eating”. Research suggests that walking can be beneficial in the weight loss process by reducing cravings for a variety of sugary snacks.
3. Reduce the risk of certain cancers:Academic circles generally believe that any form of physical activity can help reduce the risk of cancer. However, a previous study by the American Cancer Society on walking behavior found that women who walked more than 7 hours a week had a 14% lower risk of breast cancer. Walking may also provide protection for women even if they have breast cancer risk factors, such as obesity or use of estrogen therapy.
4. Reduce joint pain:Several studies have found that walking can reduce pain associated with arthritis. Walking 8-10 kilometers per week can help prevent the formation of arthritis. Research shows that walking can strengthen the muscles around joints to protect the joints themselves, especially the knees and hips, which are most susceptible to osteoarthritis.
5. Enhance immune function:A study of more than 1,000 men and women found that those who walked for at least 20 minutes a day and at least five days a week had 43% fewer days sick or had a cold than the average person. In addition, even if a subject does get sick, the chance of a shorter illness and milder symptoms increases.
However, although walking is relatively easy, “Harvard Health Publishing” still reminds the public to exercise within their ability before doing any exercise, and adjust the training menu or program according to the physical condition. Do not over-force the training to increase the harm to the body.
(Changchun Monthly/Compiled by the editorial department, provided with authorization from the article/Trendy healthPicture source: Dreamstime/Dianjiang Image)
·The “feet 1 position” for measuring blood pressure is wrong!Doctors remind you to take 4 important precautions when getting up and before going to bed.
·These 4 fruits can help lower blood pressure!Nutritionists remind: This type of food is best eaten as a vegetable, and berries are best when eaten directly.
Join Changchun Monthly LINE@Friends to enjoy more health information!