Strength training practiced with moderate to vigorous intensity two or three times a week is an effective way to mitigate arterial hypertension (high blood pressure), according to a Brazilian study described in an article published in the journal Scientific Reports.
The mechanisms behind the lowering of blood pressure by aerobic exercise are well studied, but little research has been done on the effects of strength exercise on hypertension along similar lines to this review conducted by researchers at São Paulo State University (UNESP).
Led by Giovana Rampazzo Teixeira, a professor in UNESP’s Department of Physical Education at Presidente Prudente, the group analyzed over 21,000 scientific articles and conducted a Cochrane meta-analysis, considered the gold standard for systematic reviews. According to the authors, the analysis focused on the effects of variables such as age, training dose-response, load, volume and frequency.
Researchers at the University of São Paulo (USP) collaborated on the study, which was funded by FAPESP via three projects (21/14514-2, 20/15324-0 and 19/11924-5).
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, and high blood pressure accounts for 13.8% of deaths from such diseases. Arterial hypertension is diagnosed when systolic blood pressure exceeds 140 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and/or diastolic pressure exceeds 90 mmHg. It is a multifactorial disorder triggered by such problems as an unhealthy diet, drinking too much alcohol, smoking and a sedentary lifestyle.