(Natural News) Exercise is good for the heart, and even cardiologists agree. So it is not surprising that researchers want to find out the extent of its usefulness, especially where problems related to the heart are concerned.
In a recent study, researchers from the U.K. and the U.S. pooled data from existing studies to compare the effectiveness of exercise in lowering systolic blood pressure (SBP) with that of commonly prescribed antihypertensive medications. These medications included angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I), angiotensin-2 receptor blockers (ARBs), beta-blockers, calcium blockers, and diuretics. They targeted SBP because people with high SBP are at great risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The results of 391 separate trials were subjected to statistical analysis; 197 were focused on the effects of exercise while the remaining 194 evaluated the performance of antihypertensive drugs. Exercises used in the studies involved endurance, dynamic resistance, and isometric resistance regimens. However, while all of the participants in the medication studies were people with hypertension, only 56 of the 197 trials involving exercise had hypertensive patients. Despite this, the results of their analysis suggested that all of the exercise regimens used were effective in lowering the baseline SBP of both hypertensive and non-hypertensive participants. Similarly, there was no significant difference between the performance of all antihypertensive medications included in the studies.
Based on data from exercise and medication trials with hypertensive participants, exercise appeared to be just as effective in lowering SBP as antihypertensive medications. This indicates that exercise may be an alternative method of intervention for people who suffer from hypertension.
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While the results of their meta-analysis are promising, the researchers still caution hypertensives about changing or stopping their medications. According to them, studies concerning the effectiveness of non-medication-based intervention such as exercise are few, and studies comparing them with medication interventions are even fewer. Therefore, more research is needed in order to explore and establish their potential.
They do, however, encourage physicians to include exercise as part of their prescription due to its obvious benefits. (Related: Exercise Doesn’t Need a Prescription: It Can Reduce Parkinson’s Disease, Even Delay Its Progression.)
What exercise does for the rest of the body
Aside from being good for the heart, exercise can also contribute to the wellness of other parts of the body. Therefore, it is important to include it in our routine to reap its amazing benefits. Here are some of the things that regular exercise does for the health:
- It improves brain function: According to brain imaging studies, exercise affects the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for decision-making and other complex behaviors. Even a single instance of exercise is found to improve cognition and executive function. Other things that exercise positively affects are attention, memory, problem-solving, and verbal fluency. Regular exercise also delays cognitive decline and benefits people who already suffer from it by improving their symptoms.
- It aids in the growth of stronger muscles and bones: Exercise helps the muscles grow. When done regularly, it can also prevent the loss of muscle mass due to aging. Exercise also helps people build bone density and lowers their likelihood of developing osteoporosis later in life.
- It keeps the skin healthy: Exercise promotes good blood circulation, and since cells get oxygen and important nutrients from the blood, good circulation can benefit all the organs of the body, including the skin. This is how people who exercise get their healthy glow. It also boosts the production of natural antioxidants that provide cells the protection they need.
- It improves mental health: Engaging in physical activities helps people sleep well. And when people get enough sleep, they tend to be more active and alert. Studies also suggest that exercise affects parts of the brain involved in regulating stress and anxiety. So exercise also enhances the mood and can keep depression at bay.
To get more information about exercise and how it can improve your health, visit Slender.news.