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Sunday, November 30, 2014

PaleoJay's Smoothie Cafe podcast #91- Lower your blood pressure AND tone your whole body at the same time- Naturally!



There is something wonderful about doing isometrics for your health.  And I don’t mean anything fancy and contorted, like pushing against pins in a power rack- although that is great as well- but a simple, equipment-less exercise that you can do anywhere, standing or lying down- an isometric total body flex!

The benefits are amazing, particularly in lowering blood pressure naturally.
The circulation is enhanced to all parts of the body, even the peripheral areas like the feet and the hands.  And so, how do you perform this wonderful exercise?

You simply stand straight, and gradually tense all of the muscles of your body, while breathing normally, and count to 5 or 6.  Relax, and then repeat  three times- That’s it!  That burst of oxygenated blood throughout your body (and brain too!) is one of the most energizing things you can do for yourself!

It’s great in that it can be done at odd moments, like when you are standing waiting for something, or gassing up your car, or just standing in your yard grilling...  in everyones life there are more than enough occasions where you can slip in three or four “sets” of this total isometric body flex throughout your day, and reap the many benefits.

As in anything, the more you do it the better you will get at it- at first, just methodically flexing each muscle group in turn will enhance your mind to muscle connection, and your ability to flex muscle groups effectively will improve.  Besides the blood pressure benefits and the circulation benefits, this is a wonderful way to improve your definition, which is to say the muscle tone will dramatically improve, and your muscles will seem to “pop” out underneath your skin, ala ancient Greek statues!
 And you will feel the difference in your musculature, and become more aware of your body, and how to control it in any physical situation.

A good way to start your day is to do a set of the isometric total body flex upon awakening, in bed!  Yes, that’s right- it is every bit as effective lying down as it is standing up- and it’s a great way to kickstart your day with a really healthy habit that starts you off on the right foot!  At first, just flex moderately intensely, to get the feel of controlling your muscles, but you can and should aim at later gradually working up to perhaps flexes of about 80% of perceived effort- that is enough to get all the benefits, without over-straining, which is always a bad idea.

There is numerous medical literature proving the blood pressure lowering benefits of isometric exercise if you care to google it, as I did.  For instance, here is the conclusion of group of studies done recently by the Mayo Clinic-

Conclusion
Isometric resistance training lowers SBP, DBP, and mean arterial pressure. The magnitude of effect is larger than that previously reported in dynamic aerobic or resistance training. Our data suggest that this form of training has the potential to produce significant and clinically meaningful blood pressure reductions and could serve as an adjunctive exercise modality.



The studies go way back, and the results are always beneficial.  So why is the benefit of isometrics not taught and offered to people with high blood pressure, and bed ridden people, and folks recovering from injury that can’t do “normal” types of exercise?

I don’t really know, but again, just as in proper nutrition wherein we consume real foods as made by God and nature, bypassing the man made fake food like substances like GMO grains and processed crap-

THERE IS NOTHING TO SELL!

No exercise equipment, no gym memberships, no supplements or running shoes... NOTHING!

But hopefully I have just sold you on the idea of doing this simple and oh-so-beneficial exercise on a daily basis!  The cost, once you have acquired this knowledge, is just your brief efforts throughout the day.