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The No-Gym Way to Lower Your Blood Pressure

Date:21-06-2013 07:50:06 read:2
Category:Man-->Diseases

Have you been volunteering?

Help others and you could help yourself: Regularly volunteering could reduce your risk of developing hypertension by about 40 percent, reports a new study in the journal Psychology and Aging.

For the study, researchers followed more than 1,100 U.S. adults over four years. At the beginning of the study, none had high blood pressure. During those four years, about 30 percent of participants developed hypertension, but those who volunteered about 200 hours in the last 12 months (that’s about 4 hours a week) were 40 percent less likely to have blood pressure issues. The do-gooders were also more likely to be physically active.

Volunteering had a protective effect even in participants who had chronic illnesses such as diabetes, stroke, lung problems, or heart problems that could contribute to hypertension. Even more: You don’t need to give every spare hour you have to someone else. The study found a 22 percent decrease in hypertension risk among people who volunteered 100 to 199 hours a year (about 2 hours a week).

Charity work provides social connections that may otherwise be missed (especially in people with busy schedules or in older adults), says study author Rodlescia Sneed, M.P.H., of Carnegie Mellon University. And research shows those connections are important for psychological and physical well-being.

The specific type of volunteer activity doesn’t matter when it comes to reducing your risk, the study found, so stick with something you enjoy and can share with others. Need a place to start? Here are The Most Rewarding Ways to Spend Your Downtime.

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    Ever For Health Copy Rights 2013