Dr Michael Mosley: The surprising activity which can ‘significantly’ lower blood pressure

Dr Michael Mosley on the benefits of exercise

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The only way to find out for sure your blood pressure is by having it checked. The condition can be dangerous if left untreated as it can cause a heart attack or a stroke. Both of these emergencies claim almost 200,000 lives each year. According to the NHS, lifestyle changes and medicine can lower hypertension, however, there’s also another surprising activity that can help.

Dr Michael Mosley has penned about effective ways that can help lower your high blood pressure reading for Daily Mail.

It’s no secret that lifestyle changes, including exercise, are beneficial for your overall health as well as blood pressure.

However, the doctor’s way combines moving with fun as he recommends visiting the zoo.

Dr Mosley explains that a trip to the zoo can be “beneficial” for your blood pressure.

The doctor’s recommendation to tackle hypertension is also verified by research.

Dr Mosley said: “In a 2010 study, researchers in Japan found that after a day at the zoo, not only did the study participants walk, on average, 6,000 steps more than normal.

“But they also experienced significant drops in their blood pressure. 

“Exercise makes your heart stronger, so it can pump blood with less effort, which reduces the force on your arteries and therefore blood pressure.”

Visiting the zoo can be a pleasant, fun way to get your daily step count and do some beneficial exercise for your blood pressure.

But if you are worried about going to public venues in the light of the recent Omicron case surge, Dr Mosley suggests another activity as well.

“I love my family dog, Tari, a King Charles spaniel, but having looked into the health benefits of having a dog, I feel she is also remarkable value for money,” the doctor wrote.

One of the positive effects the doctor’s dog encourages is taking daily walks.

Dr Mosley explains this is also “good for his blood pressure”. And similarly to visiting the zoo, the claim is also backed by research.

The doctor said: “A study of residents in a new housing estate in Perth, Western Australia, found people who owned dogs walked 30 minutes more a week and had lower blood pressure, than those who didn’t.”

So, if you’re worried about visiting the zoo, taking your dog for a daily walk can still help lower hypertension.

And if you don’t have a dog, you can even go for a walk by yourself.

In case, you want to try other techniques to lower your blood pressure, the NHS advises various solutions.

These include cutting back on alcohol and caffeine, losing weight if you’re overweight and quitting smoking.

When it comes to your diet, you might want to hold back on salt as sodium can raise your blood pressure.

Don’t forget the only certain way to know your reading is by having your blood pressure checked.

The ideal reading is considered to be between 90/60 millimetres of mercury (mmHg) and 120/80mmHg.


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