If you stimulate your heart and make it work harder then it will, like all muscles, grow stronger. This means that it does not have to work so hard to pump the blood around your body, it will decrease the force on your arteries thereby lowering your blood pressure. The top number in the blood pressure reading (systolic) can be lowered by regular exercise. Sometime this average decrease of between 5 to 10 millimeters gives the same result as would taking medications***. This is why doctors prescribe exercise first before drugs. Exercise has fewer side affects that drugs. It takes between one to three months to achieve this reduction, depending upon the types of activities you participate in. Tai Chi also has the advantage that it lowers blood pressure as well as improving flexibility, balance, bone density, memory, concentration and energy levels too. Its low impact moves engage both mind and body which also reduces stress, something to be avoided if you are hypertensive. Tai Chi will increase your heart rate and your respiratory rate over time as you adopt lower stances and practice for longer. Tai Chi can also help with decreasing anxiety and depression** You need aerobic activities to reduce blood pressure but, again this is any physical activity which increases both heart and respiratory rate e.g. mowing the lawn, cycling, brisk walking, washing the car, swimming, scrubbing floors etc. Tai Chi is the perfect low impact place to start an exercise program for both you mind, body and blood pressure.
As we all know exercise is good for us. But, what about those of us who suffer with high blood pressure? Blood pressure increases with age but, any exercise can help to reduce it. You don’t have to take up running or aerobics. You can start slow, walking, swimming and Tai Chi are great low impact exercises which will build muscle tone, stimulate your heart and lugs and improve circulation, without having any hard impact on joints.