Exercise and High Blood Pressure Reduction

Just 30 minutes of moderate-level exercise most days of the week is enough for most people to experience a reduction in blood pressure. Exercise has been shown in clinical studies to lower blood pressure, on average, by about 4 mmHg for systolic blood pressure and 2.5 mmHg for diastolic blood pressure.

Exercise and High Blood Pressure Reduction: An Introduction

Being physically active is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent or control high blood pressure (hypertension). Also, it helps reduce your risk of heart disease. All you need is 30 minutes of moderate-level exercise on most days of the week to become physically active. Examples of such activities include:
 
  • Brisk walking
  • Raking leaves
  • Bicycling
  • Gardening.
     
You can even divide the 30 minutes into shorter periods of at least 10 minutes each.
 
If you already get 30 minutes of moderate-level exercise a day, you can experience benefits by doing more. Exercise for a longer period each day or engage in a more vigorous activity.
 
Most people don't need to see a doctor before they start a moderate-level exercise program. However, you should check first with your healthcare provider if you:
 
  • Are over age 50 and are not used to moderate-level physical activity
  • Have a family history of heart disease at an early age
  • Have heart trouble or have had a heart attack
  • Have any other serious health problem.
     

Getting Started

Get started by doing 30 minutes of a moderate-level activity on most, and preferably all, days of the week. Try brisk walking or bicycling. If you like, divide the 30 minutes into shorter periods of at least 10 minutes each. For instance:
 
  • Get off a bus one or two stops early
  • Park your car at the far end of the lot at work
  • Use stairs instead of an elevator.
     
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