Heart Healthy Exercises – Tips to Monitor Your Blood Pressure

1 in every 3 adults in America has high blood pressure. With the new blood pressure guidelines in place, numbers are expected to increase. So, what can you do to monitor your health and decrease your risks for hypertension?

Get moving, get fit!

Exercising doesn’t only help control blood pressure levels, but helps you manage your weight, strengthen your heart, and lower your stress level.

Every day more adults are finding inconsistencies in their healthy lifestyles and looking for ways to improve.

Try to exercise for 30 minutes a day on at least five days a week.

There are numerous exercises you can do to lower your risk of high blood pressure, and you’ll likely find them a lot more appealing than the alternative –  going to the doctor and taking medications.

Men - exercise, laughing, smiling, basketball, gym, sweat

Follow these tips each month to get fit and healthy:

February: Give your heart a gift like dance lessons, such as salsa, tango, or belly dancing. You can do this right from your living room – just turn on YouTube and watch a dancing tutorial. You’ll be laughing and exercising, all from the comfort of your own home.

March: Turn on your favorite music for motivation and start your spring cleaning. Believe it or not, even doing household chores is considered exercise because it makes you move. A clean house and a healthy body = win-win.

April: Get outdoors! Plant some flowers and work on your garden, all while soaking in that sun. Bending, lifting, and stretching are all great exercises, but remember to take a breather if you find yourself winded easily.

May: April showers bring May flowers, so get outdoors and enjoy nature. Build your endurance and strength with a bike ride during National Bike Month. Don’t forget to wear your helmet. Or, just take a walk around your neighborhood to see what flowers are sprouting.

June: Summer break! Once the kids are out of school for the summer, ask them to teach you their favorite type of physical activity. Maybe you don’t want to run around kicking the soccer ball, but playing goalie will still get you moving.

 July: Cool off with a water aerobics class. Check your local YMCA or athletic club to see if they offer water aerobics. It’s a great low impact exercise options that is easy on your joints.

August: Celebrate National Bowling Week the first week in August. Get friends and family together for a friendly tournament. Remember to stay hydrated during your workout. If the 10lb balls are too much, look for a “duckpin” bowling alley. The ball may be smaller, but the fun is just as big.

September: It’s National Yoga Awareness Month – find events near you and trial classes for beginners. You can even buy a yoga mat from the store and watch a tutorial on your TV, all while not leaving your living room! Check youtube.com for tons of free yoga classes for beginners.

October: Take daily hikes to check out all the changing leaves. Go on a trip to your local farm and walk around to pick seasonal fruits and vegetables – from apples, grapes, pumpkins and more!

November: Raking up all those fallen leaves is actually good exercise. Be careful to bend from your knees so you reduce the amount of stress on your back.

December: Try ice skating or building a snowman. If you have holiday shopping to do, walk the entire mall each time you’re there. Many malls actually have mall-walking programs. A couple of laps could equal a mile.

Some more tips:

  • Before you start any workout, remember to warm up first, for at least 10 minutes by stretching. This will help prepare your body and prevent you from pulling a muscle while exercising.
  • If you find yourself tired, stop, and take a breather. Do not over-exert yourself. Remember you don’t see results right away. Practice makes perfect, so keep exercising knowing that your body is in its best shape when you’re active.
  • Do NOT hold your breath as that can raise your blood pressure and cause muscle cramping.
  • Monitor your blood pressure regularly and regularly visit your doctor.

Do you have other unique ideas for incorporating exercise into your daily routine?

Additional Resources:

American Heart Association

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Health Line

National Institute on Aging