Exercise is one of the most effective ways to prevent and manage high blood pressure. Research has shown that all types, intensities, and frequencies of aerobic exercise can lower blood pressure. However, the effects of exercise on blood pressure may vary from one person to another, but on average, regular exercise can reduce systolic blood pressure by about 4 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 2.5 mmHg.
It does not take a lot of time and effort to become a physically active person. Doing moderate-level exercise for 30 minutes a day can lower your blood pressure significantly. If you find that it is too strenuous to do 30 minutes of exercise in one session, you can divide it into three 10-minute sessions. On the other hand, if you are physically fit enough to do more, you can either increase the duration of your exercise session or do a more rigorous form of exercise.
Most people do not need to consult a physician before they start a moderate exercise program. However, it is best that you check with your doctor first if you:
- are above the age of 50 and have not been doing moderate-level exercise or physical activity regularly.
- have heart disease or have experienced a heart attack before.
- have a family history of early heart disease.
- are suffering from other serious health problems.
In our next post, we will provide advice on how to start an exercise program to prevent and control high blood pressure.