Mindful Monday | Morning exercise, short breaks from sitting lower high blood pressure

An Australian study was published linking morning exercise and short walking breaks throughout the day to blood pressure control.

Society today calls for an increase in sitting for longer periods of time. Prolonged sitting can lead to higher blood pressure and increased blood pressure can lead to cardiovascular disease.

Australian scientists believe adding three-minute walking breaks throughout the day can help regulate blood pressure. Although it is known that exercise and short breaks can help lower blood pressure, scientists studied the benefits of combining the two.

“They recruited 67 men and women who were between 60 and 74 years old and overweight or obese. About 4 in 10 participants also had high blood pressure. Every participant completed three different day-long tests in random order, each separated by a minimum of six days. Researchers measured heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar, and other blood markers during each test condition. “

During one test, participants sat for 8 hours straight and another they sat for an hour then walked for 30 minutes then went back to sitting for 6.5 hours. However, the last test participants sat for an hour then walked for 30 minutes, then sat back down but got up every 30 minutes for a 3-minute walking break.

The participants showed lower blood pressure throughout the day if any exercise was involved. “The biggest reduction was seen when people did the 30-minute treadmill exercise in the morning and took 3-minute walking breaks throughout the day – although the additional benefit of the walking breaks was seen only among women.”

Scientists were surprised that only women showed the benefits of lower blood pressure through the short 3 minute walking breaks. This finding leads researchers to believe there is a difference in blood pressure response and it could be affected by gender and epinephrine levels.

“We recognize that exercise is good, and we now have the awareness that prolonged sitting can increase blood pressure,” Bhammar told Reuters Health in a phone interview. “Now we need to build breaks into our routines as a default so we’re not sitting for four hours at a time.”

To learn more – Morning exercise, short breaks from sitting lower high blood pressure – Reuters

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