Once you’ve adopted a regular exercise program, you’ll notice improvement in your high blood pressure levels, as well as your strength, flexibility and endurance—all desired results. But there is a lesser known, and adverse, effect of exercise that you should be aware of as well: the creation of free radicals.
Free radicals form as muscle tissue and cellular membranes break down during strenuous exercise. This is a completely normal process, yet a potentially damaging one. Free radicals are known to be factors in heart disease and other illnesses, and are prominent contributors to the development of arterial blockages. When excess free radicals are present in the blood, they tend to speed up the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. The oxidized LDL cholesterol then sticks to the walls of your arteries, causing plaque buildup.
Don’t let this scare you away from the benefits of regular exercise, though. The risks of not exercising at all—or exercising too little—are far greater than the risks of free-radical damage. Plus, you can protect yourself from free-radical damage by simply supplementing with a few key antioxidants. In fact, extensive research indicates that antioxidant supplements help neutralize free radicals before they do damage, by preventing the oxidation of fats and stabilizing cell membranes broken down by exercise.
The Best Antioxidant Supplements To Take
- Coenzyme Q10 (100–200 mg softgels daily)
- L-carnitine (500–1,000 mg daily)
- Lutein (3–6 mg daily)
- Grape seed extract (50–100 mg daily)
- Vitamin E (200–400 IU daily, mixed tocopherols)
- Magnesium (200–400 mg daily)
More Dr. Sinatra Advice on High Blood Pressure Levels
Which nutritional supplements will help lower your high blood pressure levels? Get the details on my Healthy Blood Pressure Supplementation Program.
What’s the best diet for high blood pressure levels? Learn how the Pan-Asian Mediterranean (PAM) approach to eating can help lower your blood pressure.
How can you address stress to lower your high blood pressure levels? Read about techniques to help you manage your emotions and daily stressors in an effort to reduce your blood pressure reading.