High blood pressure: One exercise to lower your BP that doesn’t involve using your legs

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Dr Ben Kelly referenced an isometric handgrip device – a relic from the 70s – that you only need to squeeze and hold repeatedly to lower blood pressure. You “do literally nothing else”, he said. The device was originally intended to help fighter pilots temporarily boost their blood pressure to avoid passing out from the atmosphere. However, using the handgrip over a sustained period of time was shown to lower blood pressure.

“This kind of intervention has been shown to reduce systolic blood pressure by 8-10mmHg over eight weeks,” said Dr Kelly.

Putting control back into your hands, you can effectively extend your longevity.

Dr Kelly noted that reducing systolic blood pressure by even 2mmHg can reduce the risk of premature death in middle age by 10 percent.

In order to reap the most benefits from the handgrip, Dr Kelly shares his advice.

“Set the spring resistance to 50 percent of maximum resistance,” he said.

When squeezing the device as tightly as possible, hold the squeeze for two minutes, then release and rest for one minute.

“If that feels impossible, lighten the resistance until you can just about maintain a full two-minute squeeze,” added Dr Kerry.

Should you find squeezing the handgrip “too light”, then this is your cue to increase the resistance.

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This move should be done four times on each hand, which can be done while watching TV, for example.

It’s important to take a “rest day” each week, which means not using the handgrip device for 24 hours.

Dr Kelly did emphasise that this technique is not a replacement for diet and physical activity – it’s complementary.

With a good exercise plan, it’s possible to reduce the risk of premature death in middle age by 30 percent in 12 weeks.

Be warned that blood pressure will temporarily be raised when you first start using the handgrip.

It’s for this reason that you must get the advice of your GP if you have very high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol.

If it’s safe for you to implement this handgrip technique into your daily life, you should see a drop in blood pressure within eight weeks.

For those who don’t see the changes they were hoping for, Dr Kelly has some words of encouragement.

“We all differ in response time and you may simply just need a little longer to adapt,” he said.

As well as using a handheld grip device – especially handy when it’s cold, wet or rainy outside – you will need to eat a healthy diet.

This will involve eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, nuts, pulses and oily fish.

In addition, walking around the supermarket, shops, or going for a walk are all good ways to lower blood pressure.

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