Blood Pressure Home > High Blood Pressure and Exercise
Research on high blood pressure and exercise indicates that people experience an average reduction of about 4 mmHg for systolic blood pressure and 2.5 mmHg for diastolic blood pressure when beginning regular exercise. Some studies of high blood pressure and exercise have shown drops in systolic blood pressure of up to 30 mmHg and in diastolic blood pressure of up to 25 mmHg with regular exercise.
One of the most important steps you can take to prevent or control high blood pressure is to be physically active. Exercise also helps reduce your risk of heart disease. You only need 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
If it's more convenient, you can even divide the 30 minutes into shorter periods of at least 10 minutes each.
If you already engage in 30 minutes of moderate-level exercise a day, you can get added benefits by doing more. Engage in moderate-level 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 doctor if you:
- Have a family history of heart disease at an early age
- Have heart trouble or have had a heart attack
- Are over age 50 and are not used to moderate-level physical activity
- Have any other serious health problem.