Common sense tells us that exercise is good for us.
- Exercise lowers your blood pressure – hypotension
- Our lifestyles make us prone to high blood pressure – primary hypertension
- The B.P. lowering effect of regular exercise balances out the B.P. raising effect of our lifestyles to give us a healthy blood pressure – normotension
So, What Now?
In this study, researchers looked at how exercise intensity affected our “at rest” blood pressure.
During the study, the researchers:
- Monitored the B.P. and heart rate of 6 normotensive males for 24 hours after a workout.
- The 6 guinea-pigs performed 4 different workouts over the course of the entire study.
- The workouts differed only in their intensity.
- Workout #1 was the control workout: They did nothing. No workout
- Workout #2 consisted of 30 minutes of cycling at 70% of their V˙O2peak
- Workout #3 consisted of 30 minutes of cycling at 40% of their V˙O2peak
- Workout #4 consisted of cycling at 40% of their V˙O2peak until they had matched the work output achieved in Workout #2.
V˙O2peak is the highest amount or volume(V) of oxygen(O2) you can consume while exercising at your maximum capacity.
While the participants slept, their resting blood pressure (B.P.) was monitored
- Workout # 2 produced the greatest reduction in resting B.P.
- Workout #1 had little to no effect on the participants’ B.P.
- Workout #3 had the second lowest effect on lowering B.P.
- And even though Workout #4 produced the same amount of work as Workout #2, even it did not have as strong an effect on the participants’ blood pressure (90 % CI for difference = − 22.1 to − 0.1).
- Daytime exercise can elicit a physiologically meaningful lower BP during sleep, and
- Exercise intensity is the most important factor in this phenomenon.
So there you go folks, increase your exercise intensity and lower your blood pressure.