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Fighting High Blood Pressure? Try Aerobic Exercise

If you have chronic high blood pressure, you've probably already been told that you are at risk of developing heart disease, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Your doctor may have prescribed a medication to help lower your blood pressure and recommended that you avoid sodium, caffeine, and other substances.

If you haven't received any exercise recommendations, listen to this: A study examined the effect of nine months of low-intensity aerobic training on blood pressure in 26 elderly patients who were receiving medication to regulate high blood pressure. Thirteen patients agreed to take part in physical training using a treadmill for 30 minutes, three to six times a week. The remaining thirteen patients did not train and were compared after nine months with the group that did.

After nine months, patients participating in the treadmill exercise program experienced a decrease in blood pressure compared with patients who did not exercise. Stopping this training, however, resulted in a relatively rapid return to pre-training levels in five patients within one month, suggesting the importance of adopting a consistent exercise routine.

Have your blood pressure checked regularly by your doctor, who will also be able to recommend a sensible, moderate exercise program that will help keep your blood pressure low and your spirits high!


Motoyama M, Sunami Y, et al. Blood pressure lowering effect of low intensity aerobic training in elderly hypertensive patients. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, June 1998; vol. 30, no. 6, pp818-23.


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