Alternative methods like aerobic exercise, resistance and strength training, and isometric can lower blood pressure
By: Dr Charles Fiscella | Published Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 7:20 AM | Updated Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 7:20 AM
|Exercises can lower blood pressure|
A new study published in April found that some alternative methods to lowering blood pressure proved effective.
The report, published in the Journal Hypertension, was led by a group of researchers from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
In this study, scientists found that alternative therapies including aerobic exercise, resistance and strength training, and isometric hand grip exercises significantly reduced blood pressure.
Blood pressures above 120/80 are considered elevated.
The findings were supported by the American Heart Association.
Speaking of the report, Robert D. Brook, M.D., Chair of the panel and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor said:
"There aren't many large well-designed studies lasting longer than a few weeks looking at alternative therapies, yet patients have a lot of questions about their value. A common request from patients is, 'I don't like to take medications, what can I do to lower my blood pressure?' We wanted to provide some direction."
The study also looked at the effects of other various forms of exercise and relaxation techniques such as of yoga, different styles of meditation, biofeedback, acupuncture, device-guided breathing, relaxation, and stress reduction techniques.
There was little clinical evidence to support the employment of yoga or meditation for lowering blood pressure. However, handgrip exercises appeared to provide the most benefit along with aerobic exercises especially walking, which produced moderate benefits.
"Most alternative approaches reduce systolic blood pressure by only 2-10 mm Hg,” says Dr. Brook, who also pointing out that medications lower blood systolic pressure by 10-15 mm Hg.
"So, alternative approaches can be added to a treatment regimen after patients discuss their goals with their doctors," concludes Dr. Brook.