High Blood Pressure can be lowered by taking Multiple Short Walks Each Day

High Blood Pressure can be lowered by taking Multiple Short Walks Each Day

According to Indiana University researchers, taking three or four short vigorous walks spread out during each day is more helpful than completing the same amount of exercise in one lump of time. The study was first reported in the September issue of the Journal of Hypertension.

"The biggest problem for most people is they don't have the time," said Janet P. Wallace, professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the IU School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. "You might think, 'I don't have the time to go to the gym or work out for 40 minutes, but I might have the time to do 10 minutes here, 10 minutes here and another 10 minutes here.' Four 10-minute walks would be ideal."

In this study the researchers measured the blood pressure levels of prehypertension participants that were not high enough to be fully considered high blood pressure. It is very common that prehypertension will develop into hypertension in time. If the high blood pressure is not treated a person can be at a high risk for having a heart attack, heart failure, kidney failure, stroke or even blindness. It is estimated that over 45 million people in the United States are believed to have prehypertension, which at this time, is only treated with modifying diet and increasing physical activity.

Exercise was beneficial in both instances. The group that had exercised in one lump time of 40 minutes sustained around seven hours of decreased blood pressure. The group that exercised for 10 minutes at a time for four sessions in a day saw a decrease in blood pressure that lasted approximately 11 hours.

"We had no idea the short bouts would be better," Wallace said. "Most studies found in the literature report the long, continuous session as more effective for many variables."

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