Harder. Faster. Stronger. The three words that everyone believes create rock solid physiques with health that’s impervious to anything the world can throw at it. Except they’re not. Instead, your body is built differently. It’s smarter than that. Sometimes it’s the subtle habits that can offer significant improvement. Get moving is usually the prescription for health and well-being. However, sometimes, not moving at all is the toughest workout you can do. Why?
Well, because to cement your muscles in one place means you slap tremendous amounts of tension on them. It gives your muscles a gravity check as you fight against the forces of gravity. When you do this, your heart loves it. It’s an easy way to squeeze in training without anyone noticing it. It’s called isometric training and it’s something worth doing every day to strengthen your internal engine.
What is blood pressure?
To understand how heart health is worth factoring into your routine. You need to know about high blood pressure. So, what is it? Your blood pressure is the pressure of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Think of it as cabin pressure in an aircraft. These arteries are the highways that transport precious blood around your body. When you have high blood pressure, you’re at a higher risk of strokes and heart disease and nearly half of all US adults have some level of this affliction.
Blood pressure meds
It’s a highly medicated condition, but you can do something right now to stop it. The low hanging fruit like exercise, stress management and eating correctly all have a part to play. However, these can be tough to tick off, especially if your schedule seems to have a heartbeat of a hummingbird. Fortunately, new research says there may be an easier way than spending hours on a treadmill.
The new thinking
When do you last get your blood pressure checked? There’s a good chance it was too long ago because you’re supposed to do it every two years. However, if you’re not willing to get your numbers monitored perhaps you will adapt your actions while you’re at work. A systematic review and meta-analysis published by the University of New South Wales found doing isometric resistance training can have a very strong impact on keeping your blood pressure within healthy levels. They found that doing isometric style exercises for just 12 minutes a day, 2-3 times a week was enough to make positive changes to blood pressure levels. You don’t have to go anywhere to train this way and you probably won’t even break a sweat when you’re doing it. This creates an ideal offering for you get your blood flow optimized and add a few more years to your life.
Put isometrics into action
Make a fist. Not in anger, just in happiness. Now hold that position. It might be easy if you’re talking on the phone to someone you don’t like. That said, if you just feel like flexing your biceps at your desk, that will work too. Not a double biceps pose. That’s awkward. More like a subtle flex. You can even stand on your toes while you’re waiting in line at the coffee shop. Or you can hold a yoga pose or something like a plank while you do exercise. All these count towards making your heart healthier. A healthier heart will keep you around longer and improve your exercise performance. All you have to do is flex a little.