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Exercise vs. Drugs to Lower Blood Pressure?

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Exercise can lower blood pressure and reduce visceral body fat at least as effectively as many common prescription drugs, two new reviews report.”

I don’t have very high blood pressure. When I saw my cardiologist last month I was about 130/90. I am not overweight.

I have atrial fibrillation (afib) so my cardiologist wants me to lower my blood pressure as much as possible.  I’m not necessarily against medication designed to lower blood pressure. I have a problem with the side effects when I have taken medications. When I first developed afib in the fall of 2010,  I went on a beta blocker. I felt so awful that I resolved to try any/all  non-toxic therapies that research cited for its ability to reduce my BP before I tried more any toxic medicines.

I should also mention those non-toxic nutritional supplements and foods that I take also designed to reduce blood pressure. I take omega-3 fatty acids (1000 mg), magneseum, curcumin, CocoaVie, and grapeseed extract. I eat little red meat, nuts, lots of fruits and veggies, don’t drink much and exercise slowly/moderately every day.

Have my non-toxic therapies lowered my BP enough to satify my cardiologist? I have an appointment with my cardiologist in about a month. I will let you know the day after what my BP is.

Do you have high blood pressure? Scroll down the page, post a question and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thanks

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

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Exercise can lower blood pressure and reduce visceral body fat at least as effectively as many common prescription drugs, two new reviews report.

Together, the new studies support the idea that exercise can be considered medicine, and potent medicine at that. But they also raise questions about whether we know enough yet about the types and amounts of exercise that might best treat different health problems and whether we really want to start thinking of our workouts as remedies…

But while drugs face extensive testing before they can be approved and prescribed, exercise studies, even those examining exercise as a treatment for illness, have tended to be relatively small and short-term. They also rarely compare exercise, head-to-head, with drugs to treat the same condition…

So, the authors of the two new reviews independently decided to stage their own exercise-versus-drugs scientific rumbles and, for each, use the same, slightly indirect approach. They would, the researchers decided, collect the best recent studies looking at the effectiveness of drugs for a condition and the best comparable studies using exercise to treat the same illness and collate, analyze and compare the various results

The researchers now gathered 391 randomized, controlled trials — the accepted gold standard for testing treatments — that looked at either a drug or some form of exercise to lower blood pressure. Together, the experiments included almost 50,000 volunteers, with more than 10,000 of them in the exercise studies.

The researchers then summed the data from the drug or exercise tests and found that, in aggregate, all of the drugs and any type of exercise lowered blood pressure, although drugs generally achieved slightly greater reductions. That extra bump downward from drugs may have been a result in part, the researchers believe, to a reliance on relatively healthy volunteers in the exercise studies; their starting blood pressures tended to be lower than in the drug trials, so the drop by the end was slighter…

Taken together, the new reviews indicate that exercise can equal or exceed the effects of drugs on high blood pressure and visceral fat. But they also underscore that clinical exercise science could stand to raise its game and develop greater rigor in testing exercise as medicine…”

 

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