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Swimming, Perhaps the Best Exercise to Prevent High Blood Pressure!

The 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games officially ended on August 8. In competitive swimming events, a total of 20 countries (regions) have won swimming medals, and 10 countries have won gold medals. The United States ranked first with 11 gold medals, Australia ranked second with 9 gold medals, and the United Kingdom ranked third with 4 gold medals.


The Olympic swimming competitions are beautiful, intense and highly enjoyable, which is enthusiastically followed and loved by the audience. The swimming competition is divided into 5 categories including competitive swimming, synchronized swimming, water polo, diving and open water swimming. Competitive swimming includes four styles: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly.


Freestyle

In 1896, the first modern Olympic Games was held in Athens, Greece, and the swimming competition was one of the nine major events of the Olympic Games. In this competition, not only there are no rules for swimming styles, but the organizing committee even encourages athletes to be bold and innovative. Therefore, the athletes in the swimming competitions have their own abilities, and the swimming styles are also varied. The original freestyle, an unrestricted swimming method, appeared under such free and loose conditions.


Freestyle
Freestyle

Alfred, an athlete who takes turns with his arms and kicks with his legs up and down, won the championship. Due to the low resistance and uniform speed structure, it has become the fastest and most labor-saving swimming posture in the world. Freestyle has witnessed the progress of science and appreciation of swimming events which is also a testament to the spirit that humans continue to break in the pool.


Backstroke

Backstroke
Backstroke

In the first Olympic Games, there was another special stroke that attracted the attention of the organizing committee, which was the backstroke. The backstroke is the only swimming style that keeps the head out of the water, which makes it easy for swimmers to breathe, and it is also very labor-saving to lie on the water. The combination of speed, elegance and effort-saving characteristics of backstroke also allowed it to be listed as a separate event in the subsequent second Olympic Games.


Breaststroke

On August 12, 1875, Captain Matthew Way, an English soldier, became the first person in the world to successfully cross the English Channel. He swam 34.21 kilometers in 21 hours and 45 minutes, from the Port of Dover in the United Kingdom to the Carles Waterfront in France. He used a swimming style that resembled a frog swimming in the water, which was later named breaststroke. This feat left a deep impression on the breaststroke. As a result, people began to hope that the Olympics would also include breaststroke as an independent stroke for competitions, and promote breaststroke to the world.


Breaststroke
Breaststroke

Although breaststroke is slower than freestyle and backstroke, it is an indisputable fact that some people use breaststroke to swim across the English Channel. The Olympic Organizing Committee decided to include breaststroke as an independent stroke in the third Olympic Games in response to the rising voices of people.


Butterflystroke

The establishment of the butterfly stroke took a long time. With the continuous development of technology, some people have begun to study how to use scientific methods to help athletes perform better. Coach David Ambrast from Iowa State University found that the movement of the arms in the water during the breaststroke greatly affects the forward speed. So he invented the movement of extending his arm forward in the air, which is the origin of the butterfly arm.


Butterfly stroke
Butterfly stroke

By 1938, almost all athletes used a combination of butterfly arms and breaststroke legs. After 20 years of discussion and controversy, the Olympic Organizing Committee finally established the butterfly as a separate competition in 1956. The butterfly stroke is a highly ornamental swimming style that is carried by the butterfly arms give the audience a feeling of the burst of passion. Although its practicality is not as good as the first three swimming styles, and it has higher requirements for the athlete's own quality, but it has still become the darling of photographers.


Don't like running?

Swimming can also help you relax!


Swimming is a whole-body sport. Whether it is backstroke, freestyle or butterfly, all of our arms, shoulders, back and chest muscles can be fully exercised. A short time of swimming can make our body stretch and relax to the utmost extent.


With the rapid development of technology, most office workers always look at computers with their heads down for a long time. Therefore, the cervical spine is aging prematurely, the waist is also prone to fatigue, and always feels sore after getting off work. With age, the basic metabolism of the human body will continue to decline, the body energy consumption rate will slow down, more and more people easy to gain weight after work. Obesity produces various hemodynamic changes, which can easily lead to changes in cardiac physiology and morphology, and ultimately lead to heart failure.


Therefore, it is particularly important to find a kind of exercise with reasonable intensity, moderate difficulty, and significant effect to relieve stress and fatigue.


The benefits of swimming


Swimming can relieve the discomfort of patients with cervical spondylosis

When cervical intervertebral disc degeneration, the intervertebral disc will loosen, and then compress the nerve root, spinal cord or vertebral artery. This is how cervical spondylosis arises. When swimming, the human body is affected by buoyancy, and the spine can move without heavy pressure, which is conducive to restoring to the original position and can relieve cervical pain to a certain extent.


Excessive working can lead to dizziness and headaches
Excessive working can lead to dizziness and headaches

Swimming helps to lose weight

Water has great resistance and good thermal conductivity, so during swimming, water will help the human body consume more calories. Studies have shown that the heat consumed for 1 minute in water at 14 degrees Celsius is as high as 100 kcal, which is equivalent to the heat consumed for 1 hour in the air at the same temperature. Moreover, water sports reduces the impact on the joints during ground exercises, reduces the probability of bone strain, makes the bones and joints less likely to deform, and the muscle lines exercised will be smoother than the equipment training on the ground.


Swimming can improve the cardiovascular system

When swimming, all organs are involved, and the blood pressure cycle is also accelerated. The increase in blood flow speed will increase the load on the heart, make it beat faster, and the contraction is strong and powerful. The action of water during swimming makes the blood of the limbs easy to return to the heart, increasing the thickness of the blood vessel wall and increasing the elasticity. The stroke volume of an average person is 60-80ml, while the stroke volume of a person who swims is as high as 90-120ml. In addition, when swimming, the human body is in a horizontal state, which can keep all parts of the body under consistent gravity, balance the distribution of blood circulation, reduce the burden on the heart, and prevent cardiovascular diseases.


Swimming can increase lung capacity

Exhalation is generally done underwater when swimming. The density of water is much greater than that of air. Therefore, it will be more laborious to exhale, and the contraction force of the respiratory muscles will become stronger, thereby enhancing the function of the respiratory system and increasing lung capacity. According to ScienceDirect, adult men have a normal lung capacity of 3000-4000ml, while those who swim regularly can reach 5000-6000ml.


Regular monitoring of physical indicators is very important


Coaches often measure various physical indicators of athletes before and after training, among which blood pressure, blood oxygen, and heart rate are the indicators that they pay attention to. Quantifying daily training through data monitoring can help athletes better understand their physical conditions, and at the same time can provide more complete data support for coaches to develop training plans.


Human indicators that often need to be monitored
Human indicators that often need to be monitored

It is also very important for us to regularly monitor various physical indicators, especially blood pressure. High blood pressure is not terrible in itself, but the complications caused by long-term high blood pressure are daunting. Hypertension is the most important risk factor leading to myocardial infarction, cerebral infarction, and renal failure. According to World Health Organization, 2 million people die from diseases related to hypertension each year, and deaths caused by cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases account for 41% of the total deaths.


The signals sent by the continuous increase of blood pressure are easy to be ignored by us, such as dizziness, numbness of hands and feet, etc. And most people do not have the habit of regularly measuring blood pressure, and most of the complications caused by the continuous increase in blood pressure are irreversible, such as renal failure, cardio-cerebrovascular blockage and so on. By the time severe symptoms appear, it is often too late.


Early signs of hypertension to be alert to


When you have the following symptoms, you need to be vigilant, which probably means your body has issued a high blood pressure warning. Starting to measure blood pressure at this time is likely to help you avoid more serious illnesses.


1.Dizziness and headache

Dizziness is the most common symptom of high blood pressure, which often appears suddenly when squatting and standing up. Headaches are mostly persistent dull pain or pulsating pain, and even burst-like pain. The pain is mostly in the temples and the back of the head. The main reason is that high blood pressure can cause blood vessels to dilate and increase intracranial pressure, which can cause headaches. In addition, high blood pressure can also cause the insufficient blood supply to the brain, especially in the early morning, when blood pressure reaches its peak, the symptoms of dizziness and headache will be more serious.



2.Decreased vision and hearing

Excessive blood pressure may cause the insufficient blood supply to the inner ear and affect the auditory nerve, causing symptoms of hearing loss and tinnitus. In addition, high blood pressure can also lead to insufficient blood supply to the retina, which affects vision, and symptoms of blurred vision appear when waking up early.


3.Numbness in hands and feet

When your hands and feet are numb, do you think it is just caused by incorrect sitting posture or pressure? But this is likely to be an early symptom of blood hypertension, mostly manifested as numbness in the fingers and toes or tight and sore back muscles. This is because high blood pressure affects the flow of blood, leading to insufficient blood supply to the end, and numbness.


4. Bleeding

As hypertension can cause arteriosclerosis, the blood vessels become less elastic and more brittle, so they can easily rupture. Among them, epistaxis is more common, followed by conjunctival hemorrhage, fundus hemorrhage, cerebral hemorrhage, etc. According to statistics, about 80% of patients with massive epistaxis suffer from hypertension.


5.Edema or increased nocturia

When the body shows signs of increased nocturia, fatigue and extensive body edema, special attention is needed. This may be an early symptom of hypertensive nephropathy. 30% of hypertensive patients will have kidney damage to varying degrees, causing hypertensive nephropathy. If the treatment is not thorough, it may eventually lead to uremia.



What do the fluctuations in blood pressure represent?

Many hemodynamic indicators including systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure and heart rate, as well as the occurrence of cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction, sudden cardiac death, stroke, etc., have obvious and similar diurnal changes. For example, during the early morning hours, many of the former indicators begin to rise rapidly close to their peak, while the latter also has the highest rate of unplanned events during the day, between which appears to be mediated by neurohumoral factors or the blood coagulation system.


Therefore, understanding the rhythmic changes of blood pressure and its relationship with cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events will be very helpful for taking antihypertensive drugs. The best way to reduce blood pressure volatility caused by drugs is to do ambulatory blood pressure monitoring to understand blood pressure changes throughout the day.


Ambulatory blood pressure is to measure a person's blood pressure within a certain period of time within 24 hours of the day and night. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is globally recognized as the best standard for diagnosing hypertension. It is not only used for the diagnosis and evaluation of hypertension, but also diagnoses white coat hypertension, discovers hidden hypertension, examines the causes of stubborn and refractory hypertension, and evaluates The degree of blood pressure increase, short-term variation and circadian rhythm, etc., can be a good help for patients with initial symptoms to assess their own hypertension level.


For hypertensive patients, in view of the "rhythmic" characteristic changes of blood pressure, choosing appropriate antihypertensive drugs and reasonable medication time can achieve stable control of blood pressure throughout the 24 hours and reduce the risk of other complications. At the same time, this is the only and most reliable way to grasp the changes in blood pressure after falling asleep at night.


24-Hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring


The popularization of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring technology will benefit more patients with hypertension, making the screening, management and treatment of hypertension more refined and comprehensive. Therefore, every patient with hypertension should have 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.


Considerations for 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring


  • When using Viatom Armfit+ for ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, the arm is selected based on the blood pressure of both upper arms, and the arm should be kept still.

  • A difference of ≥10 mmHg between the upper arm clinic blood pressures should be selected for ambulatory blood pressure monitoring on the higher arm.

  • If the difference in blood pressure between the two upper arms is <10 mmHg, it is recommended that the non-dominant arm be selected for ambulatory blood pressure monitoring to reduce the effect of arm movement on blood pressure monitoring result.



Measurement steps:

  • After wearing Viatom Armfit+, first manually measure blood pressure twice to confirm that it is working normally and can assist in judging white coat hypertension;

  • It is also recommended to manually measure twice when removing Armfit+ to confirm that the instrument is working normally;

  • Recommended measurement frequency: every 15 to 30 minutes measure 1time during the day (at least record 20 readings), and every 30 minutes measure 1time at night (at least record 7 readings).

  • In general, monitoring is considered valid if the valid reading is greater than 70%, otherwise, it should be re-monitored.


About Viatom


Viatom is a high-tech company specializing in R&D, production, and home medical devices. We have been deeply involved in different medical fields for many years, and we continue to innovate and develop mobile medical equipment. Providing wearable medical solutions is one of our main goals to help people understand and control their health. Through our products, you can understand your health better and more conveniently, and get more professional advice. With the wearable health monitor on your hands or arms, you no longer have to worry about any sudden health diseases. Don’t worry about the burden of heavy medical products.

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