True or False? Exercising increases stress and blood pressure.


False!  We all know that exercise will reduce stress and decrease blood pressure. Exercise releases good chemicals into our bloodstream, endorphins for one. Exercise can be used to decrease the symptoms of depression or seasonal affective disorder by combating the harmful chemicals the body dumps into it with stress and depression.  Exercise also reduces muscle aches and body aches, so if you have soreness or pain, doing simple exercise can stimulate pain relief naturally in the body.

When doing cardiovascular exercise, the heart muscle is engaged. It has to work to pump blood and oxygen to fuel the body during activity. This process of taxing the heart in a safe target heart rate range will improve the body’s ability to intake oxygen and provide it to the muscles for activity. This is called a VO2 maximum, or your body’s ability to uptake and use oxygen for work. Your heart muscle will get stronger and therefore more blood will be pumped each beat and reduce the number of beats needed for simple activities such as rising from a chair or walking from your car in a parking lot. The reduction in beats results in a lower blood pressure and a more stable one when rising from a chair.


About Janelle Baldwin

Janelle Baldwin is a physical therapist assistant (PTA) and lead fitness trainer for Agnesian HealthCare’s on-site fitness center, called the ZONE. She is a certified weight trainer (CWT), a strength and conditioning specialist (STS) and a certified strength and conditioning instructor (CSCI). Her 15 years of professional experience ranges from home care and work hardening/conditioning with the Agnesian HealthCare Sports, Spine & Work Center for many years to her role as a certified personal trainer; teaching fitness classes for which she is trained and certified for and maintaining the on-site fitness facility.

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