Researchers find simple handgrip exercise lowers blood pressure
The studies looked at whether the flexibility of arteries and the function of blood vessels both of which improve after IGH were factors in reducing blood pressure in people taking anti-hypertensive medication. Results indicated that following eight weeks of IHG training, blood pressure decreased significantly, suggesting that IHG exercises improve cardiovascular function.
In the first study, researchers examined whether the ability of arteries to stretch contributes to lower resting blood pressure. Following eight weeks of IHG training, the flexibility of the carotid artery improved substantially while blood pressure decreased significantly.
"Hypertension is associated with hardening of the arteries and development of cardiovascular disease," noted Maureen MacDonald, the supervising professor for both studies at McMaster. After the eight-week IHG exercise regimen, blood pressure decreased significantly, while the artery's capacity to dilate increased. Improved capacity to dilate in an artery in the heart results in improvements in blood flow to the heart muscle.