Strength training helps lower blood pressure
A recent study has shown the effectiveness of strength training in reducing both systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressures (DBP).
“Training programmes, consisting of dynamic strength training without medication at a moderate intensity and with a frequency of three times per week, seem to be optimal in order to reduce BP,” the investigators said.
This systematic review and meta-analysis compared the effect of different types of strength training in BP and to analyse several variables that could modify the effect of strength training not combined with medication in SBP and DBP.
The investigators performed systematic searches in two scientific databases, namely PubMed and Web of Science. Studies that met the inclusion criteria analysed the chronic effect of strength training in BP, were carried out at least 4 weeks, and were published in the English language.
The meta-analysis revealed a significant reduction in BP for all types of training. A greater effect on SBP was observed when training without medication was done with isometric exercises compared to training carried out with dynamic exercises.
Of note, such effects were no longer significant when the duration of the training programme exceeded 20 weeks and when training frequency was lower than three times per week.
“Hypertension is a disease affecting a large part of the world's population that causes millions of deaths annually,” the investigators said. “Physical exercise is proposed as an alternative to pharmacologic therapies used to reduce BP.”