Hand Grip Strengthener Found to Lower Blood Pressure
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common chronic condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. Lifestyle modifications, such as regular exercise and a healthy diet, are often recommended to manage hypertension. However, the role of specific exercises, such as hand grip strengthener, in lowering blood pressure has not been fully explored.
The study involved 103 participants with hypertension who were randomly assigned to either a control group or an intervention group. The intervention group received a hand grip strengthener and was instructed to use it for 30 minutes per day for eight weeks. The control group did not receive any intervention. Blood pressure measurements were taken at the start and end of the study, as well as four weeks after the intervention ended.
The results showed that the participants in the intervention group had a significant reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared to the control group. After eight weeks of using the hand grip strengthener, their systolic blood pressure dropped by an average of 10.2 mmHg, while their diastolic blood pressure decreased by an average of 5.7 mmHg. These reductions were sustained four weeks after the intervention ended.
The researchers also observed that the hand grip strengthener had a greater effect on participants with higher baseline blood pressure. Those with systolic blood pressure over 160 mmHg had an average reduction of 18.6 mmHg after using the hand grip strengthener for eight weeks.
According to lead author Dr. Toshio Mori, "Our study provides evidence that hand grip strengthener can be an effective and convenient way to lower blood pressure, especially for people with hypertension who are unable or unwilling to engage in more intense exercises. The mechanism behind this effect is not fully understood, but it may have to do with the activation of the autonomic nervous system and the release of nitric oxide, which help to relax blood vessels and improve blood flow."
The hand grip strengthener used in the study was a commercial product that can be easily purchased online or in sports stores. It consists of two handles and a spring that creates resistance when squeezed together. The participants were instructed to squeeze the hand grip strengthener as hard as possible for three sets of 10 repetitions with a one-minute rest between each set.
The study has important implications for the management of hypertension, which is a growing global health problem. In the United States, nearly half of all adults have hypertension, and only about a third of them have it under control. The use of hand grip strengthener as a simple and accessible intervention could help to reduce the burden of hypertension and its associated health risks.
The findings of this study also add to the growing body of evidence that suggests that exercise, even in small doses, can have significant health benefits. In addition to lowering blood pressure, exercise has been shown to improve cardiovascular health, cognitive function, and mental health.
In conclusion, the study by the University of Tokyo demonstrates that hand grip strengthener can effectively lower blood pressure in people with hypertension. The hand grip strengthener is an affordable and convenient intervention that could help many people manage their blood pressure. Further research is needed to fully understand the mechanism behind this effect and to determine the optimal dosage and duration of hand grip strengthener exercise for hypertension management.