Dial Down Blood Pressure: The Surprising Workout Buddy Hiding in Your Phone!

High blood pressure affects millions of people worldwide, with harmful consequences to their heart, arteries, and overall health. While there are various medications and lifestyle adjustments to address this issue, recent research from Ohio has revealed that one of the most accessible solutions to reducing blood pressure may be in your pocket: your smartphone.

Ohio researchers examined three different activities that people generally perform on their smartphones, discovering that one of them could help lower blood pressure, while the other two had potentially adverse effects. The scientists from Kent State University analyzed the influence of smartphone usage while exercising on a treadmill, finding that listening to music on a phone can increase the intensity of your workout, thereby potentially assisting in reducing blood pressure.

However, for the sake of your heart, it’s best to avoid talking or texting on your phone during a workout. These activities lower your workout intensity, subsequently reducing the health benefits of exercise for your blood pressure and overall fitness. Researcher Jacob Barkley states, “Exercising at a lower intensity has been found to reduce the health benefits of exercise and fitness improvements over time.”

This research is significant as poor cardiorespiratory fitness has been linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, elevated cholesterol, increased blood pressure levels, and even premature mortality. Michael Rebold, another researcher in the study, emphasizes the importance of their findings due to the association of these risk factors with poor cardiorespiratory fitness.

##The Effects of Smartphone Activities on Exercising

The study enlisted 44 participants who took part in 30-minute workout sessions on treadmills. During these sessions, the researchers analyzed smartphone use and its relationship to the speed participants walked or jogged, their heart rates, and their overall level of enjoyment.

When listening to music, it was found that treadmill users’ average speed, heart rate, and enjoyment increased, giving them a more intense workout. Conversely, talking on the phone lowered their speed, though it seemed to increase the duration they stayed on the treadmill. Texting, however, led to a slower workout and a lower, less beneficial heart rate.

Andrew Lepp, one of the scientists in the study, explained that listening to music (and to a lesser degree, talking) can heighten enjoyment during a workout, thereby encouraging people to exercise longer or more frequently. Nevertheless, if an individual’s time for exercise is limited, it’s best to avoid talking or texting during planned exercise.

Music offers a soothing element—prompting and sustaining movement—while speaking and texting don’t provide such benefits. Using a treadmill in the first place can be disorienting, as you have to maintain your balance on revolving rubber instead of propelling yourself forward on stationary ground. Listening to music can help you focus, drown out distractions, and ultimately create a fulfilling and intense workout experience.

##Utilizing Your Smartphone for a Healthy Workout

High blood pressure is a serious issue that poses a risk to your health and overall well-being. Finding accessible solutions that can be easily incorporated into your daily life is essential. Listening to music on your smartphone during workouts is a simple yet effective way to boost your exercise intensity, subsequently helping lower your blood pressure.

So the next time you decide to hit the gym or go for a run, put those earphones on and enjoy a heart-pumping playlist, knowing that you are taking another essential step towards a healthier lifestyle.