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Exercise for High Blood Pressure

Physical activity reduces blood pressure, especially if you have been inactive until now. Physical activity also helps you manage your weight. But being active will lower your blood pressure even if you don't lose weight.

Regular aerobic exercise can help lower high blood pressure. Aerobic exercise includes activities that raise your heart rate, such as walking, bicycling, dancing, swimming, and jogging.

  • People who don't exercise are more likely to develop high blood pressure than people who do exercise.
  • Doing moderate exercise at least 2½ hours a week can help lower blood pressure. One way to do this is to be active 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week. It's fine to be active in blocks of 10 minutes or more throughout your day and week.
  • Exercise also helps you lose weight and has been proved to reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Regular exercise also lowers your risk for diabetes. This is important, because having diabetes increases your risk of complications from high blood pressure.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology
Last Revised April 5, 2013

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