How Pilates can help lower your blood pressure

Health & Fitness

  • Author Jane Hamilton
  • Published January 25, 2023
  • Word count 474

What is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the measure of force that your heart uses to pump blood around your body. It is the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. We often hear about low blood pressure and high blood pressure but what does that really mean and why does it matter? Our body needs to be in balance to work well and any changes that cause upset to this balance can make us ill. We understand that if we drink too much alcohol or gain too much weight it can make us very ill.

High Blood Pressure

If our blood pressure becomes too high it can put extra strain on blood vessels and organs such as our heart and brain. High blood pressure can be caused by many things but some of the most common are not exercising enough, smoking, drinking too much alcohol and being overweight. If left untreated, you can develop serious long-term health conditions like kidney disease and coronary heart disease. Signs and symptoms of high blood pressure can include blurred vision, shortness of breath, headaches and chest pain.

Low Blood Pressure

Low blood pressure is not as common. Some people have naturally low blood pressure and this will not require any treatment unless it becomes dangerously low. Symptoms of low blood pressure can be dizziness, fainting, feeling weak or feeling sick. It can be caused by medications to lower blood pressure or by an illness such as diabetes.

How to Lower High Blood Pressure

If you have high blood pressure, your GP may give you medication that lowers your blood pressure. You will also be asked to make lifestyle changes. Or if it isn't too high, the GP may ask you to try lifestyle changes first as that could stop the need for the medication. Lifestyle changes would include losing weight if you are overweight, stopping smoking and reducing your alcohol consumption. You will also be asked to exercise more which is normally as simple as going for a short walk every day if you aren't used to exercising.

Pilates is a form of exercise that anyone can take part in as it will be tailored to your level of fitness and ability. You should advise your Pilates instructor if you have high blood pressure so that they can adapt the exercises accordingly. Pilates classes will start with some breathing exercises that help you relax and in turn, relax your muscles. Then the focus is on some gentle stretches before moving on to some Pilates moves. People who practice Pilates regularly with high blood pressure have found that after a class, their blood pressure has reduced.

Pilates is good for you as the breathing helps you relax, the exercises help you become strong and flexible, and doing exercise is good for our bodies and our mental health.

Jane Hamilton is a fully qualified Pilates instructor who owns Jane Hamilton Pilates and offers online Pilates classes. She is based in Edinburgh.

Jane has had many students taking part in her classes that are dealing with high blood pressure.

Online Pilates Classes: https://janehamiltonpilates.co.uk/online-pilates/

Pilates Edinburgh: https://janehamiltonpilates.co.uk/

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