Ballroom dancing has never been more popular, thanks to hit telly show Strictly Come Dancing.
And research suggests it could be a great way of lowering your blood pressure.
One study which looked at dozens of sufferers with high readings who took up ballroom dancing three times a week found those readings dropped significantly every time they took to the dance floor, and remained lower afterwards.
Researchers said if the benefits proved to be long-term, patients might be able to reduce their dependence on tablets to keep blood pressure under control.
Getting on top of high blood pressure doesn’t mean running marathons or exercising to the point of exhaustion.
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Scientists at the University of Western Australia studied 67 men and women aged from 55 to 80 to see exactly what effect daily strolls had on their cardiac health.
The results showed readings came down, even if the half-hour walk was followed by a long period of sitting down at a computer or in front of a TV.
In some of the patients, walking was just as effective as the prescription tablets they were taking at keeping blood pressure in check.
Cutting the grass for 40 minutes can be a very effective way of lowering your readings, according to tests carried out by doctors at Winnipeg Regional Health Authority in Canada.
They measured readings in men in their seventies as they pushed mowers up and down, and found blood pressure scores dropped more sharply than when the same men later played a round of golf.
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As we age, the idea of putting even more strain on our joints by taking up jogging can be fairly daunting.
But studies show regular swimming sessions are a great alternative for reducing blood pressure without ending up with aching limbs.
A recent study in the American Journal of Cardiology found 43 men and women in their fifties and sixties were able to reduce their top blood pressure reading (called the systolic reading) to 122mmHG from 131mmHg within three months of taking up regular swimming sessions lasting 45 minutes each.
Climbing the stairs instead of taking the lift is known to be a good cardio workout which is also known to build leg muscle strength.
A team of South Korean researchers looked at what happened to blood pressure readings in post-menopausal women who were told to use the stairs at work four days a week.
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They were given a target of climbing 192 steps at least twice during the course of the day.
The results showed readings tumbled, leg strength improved, the women lost weight and the risk of the bone-crumbling disease osteoporosis also declined.
Football lovers looking for a reason to put their boots back on have the perfect excuse – it’s a great way to get readings down.
A team of British and Danish scientists studied a group of men aged between 33 and 54 who already had mild to moderate hypertension – or high blood pressure.
They attended two hour-long football sessions a week for three months.
The results showed that their blood pressure problems cleared up and their body mass index dropped to healthier levels.
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