High blood pressure – or hypertension – means that your blood pressure is consistently higher than the recommended level. High blood pressure is not usually something that you can feel or notice, but over time if it is not treated, your heart may become enlarged making your heart pump less effectively. This can lead to heart failure. Having high blood pressure increases your chance of having a heart attack or stroke. There isn’t always an explanation for the cause of high blood pressure, but these can play a part:
• Not doing enough physical activity
• Being overweight or obese
• Having too much salt in your diet
• Regularly drinking too much alcohol or having a family history of high blood pressure.
Even if you don’t have high blood pressure, making some simple lifestyle changes may help prevent you developing it in the future.
Regular exercise can help you lose weight. You will also feel better. Exercise will also help keep your bones strong. Always talk with your health care provider before starting an exercise program.
You need to make sure the exercise you would like to do is safe for you. This is especially important if:
• You recently had a heart attack.
• You have been having chest pain or pressure, or shortness of breath.
• You have diabetes.
• You recently had a heart procedure or heart surgery.
Stress and anxiety are a normal part of life, but anxiety disorders, which affect 40 million adults, are the most common psychiatric illnesses. The benefits of exercise may well extend beyond stress relief to improving anxiety and related disorders.
Psychologists studying how exercise relieves anxiety and depression suggest that a 10-minute walk may be just as good as a 45-minute workout. Some studies show that exercise can work quickly to elevate depressed mood in many people. Although the effects may be temporary, they demonstrate that a brisk walk or other simple activity can deliver several hours of relief, similar to taking an aspirin for a headache.
Science has also provided some evidence that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than sedentary people. Exercise may improve mental health by helping the brain cope better with stress. In one study, researchers found that those who got regular vigorous exercise were 25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder over the next five years.
Everyone knows that regular exercise is good for the body. But exercise is also one of the most effective ways to improve your mental health. Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more.
It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts overall mood. And you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits. Research indicates that modest amounts of exercise can make a difference. No matter your age or fitness level, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to feel better.
While we all know that being active is good for our health, both physical and emotional, it’s important to be aware that getting active and staying active can help you manage your Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes or help you reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes. For example, UK Chief Medical Officers’ Guidelines state that physical activity can reduce your chance of Type 2 diabetes by up to 40 per cent as well as reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, joint and back pain, depression and dementia.
Being active will:
• Help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight
• Increase the amount of glucose used by the muscles for energy, so it may sometimes lower blood glucose (sugar) levels
• Help the body to use insulin more efficiently – regular activity can help reduce the amount of insulin you have to take
• Improve your diabetes management (particularly Type 2 diabetes)