Study IDs Isometric Exercises as Most Effective for Improving Resting Blood Pressure

Along with top ranked isometric exercise, aerobic exercise, dynamic resistance, high-intensity interval training, and combined training also significantly effective
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FRIDAY, July 28, 2023, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Isometric exercises, such as wall sits and planks, are particularly effective at reducing resting blood pressure (BP), according to a review published online July 25 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Jamie J. Edwards, Ph.D., from Canterbury Christ Church University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis on the impact of exercise training modes on resting BP. Included in the final analysis were 270 randomized controlled trials published between 1990 and February 2023, totaling 15,827 participants.

The researchers observed significant reductions in resting systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP) following aerobic exercise training (−4.49/–2.53 mm Hg), dynamic resistance training (–4.55/–3.04 mm Hg), combined training (–6.04/–2.54 mm Hg), high-intensity interval training (–4.08/–2.50 mm Hg), and isometric exercise training (–8.24/–4.00 mm Hg). The rank order of effectiveness in a network meta-analysis for SBP was as follows: isometric exercise training (surface under the cumulative ranking curve [SUCRA]: 98.3 percent), combined training (SUCRA: 75.7 percent), dynamic resistance training (SUCRA: 46.1 percent), aerobic exercise training (SUCRA: 40.5 percent), and high-intensity interval training (SUCRA: 39.4 percent). Isometric wall squats and running were the most effective submodes for reducing SBP (SUCRA: 90.4 percent) and DBP (SUCRA: 91.3 percent), respectively.

"These findings provide a comprehensive data-driven framework to support the development of new exercise guideline recommendations for the prevention and treatment of arterial hypertension," the authors write.

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