According to a new study suggests that aerobic exercise alone is best for lowering blood pressure. Researchers felt that draining iron may not make much of a difference when it comes time to face the blood pressure cuff.
Blood pressure is known to go up during periods of vigorous exertion, but exercise as a regular activity is associated with healthier, lower blood pressure. Researchers looked at whether the type of exercise people engaged has made any difference in their blood pressure.
Between 1998 and 2000, researchers analyzed data from more than 6,000 people. They found that those who participated in only aerobic exercise, such as walking, jogging, or cycling, had lower blood pressure levels than those who participated in both aerobic exercise and weight lifting or calisthenics.
Michael Alderman, of the College of Medicine in the Bronx, suggests that there is a detrimental effect of (weight lifting) that blunts the benefit of walking, running, and jogging. Both the mixed exercise group and the group that didn't participate in any form of exercise had similar average blood pressures -- about 122/75 mmHg. But the aerobic-only group had an average blood pressure level of only 120/72 mmHg.
That 3 mmHg drop in systolic blood pressure may not sound like a lot, but a 2-3 mmHg drop in blood pressure can make an important difference in (deaths from heart disease and stroke) for the population as a whole, said Alderman.
But Alderman says there were not enough people in the study who did weight lifting or calisthenics without aerobics to adequately study how it affects blood pressure, and more research in this area is needed. He says a possible explanation for their finding may be that by creating bigger muscle mass, weight lifting creates an oxygen debt in the body, which means the body must work harder to supply oxygen. Another may be that weight lifting stimulates more damaging free radicals and oxidants than aerobic exercise.
It's also important to note that many studies have shown a benefit from weight lifting on everything from bone health to weight control and body fat loss. Further research is needed to find out different typesof exercise and decide on which is better for people with specific conditions.