Exercises to Reduce Blood Pressure

If you have high blood pressure, your doctor has probably recommended regular exercise as a way to reduce your readings and improve your overall health. Exercise is, in fact, one of the best ways to keep your blood pressure under control. Before beginning a regular exercise program, be sure to talk to your doctor about an appropriate program for you.

How much is enough?

Most doctors will recommend that you exercise for about half an hour every day. This should include aerobic exercise, such as walking, jogging or biking. If you have can't exercise for a full half hour, don't let this stop you from increasing your activity level. If you have been sedentary, even 10 minutes of exercise a day can make a big difference in your health.

How do you get started?

Any additional activity can help reduce your blood pressure and improve your overall health. Some exercise to consider might include:

  • Walking around the neighborhood with friends
  • Biking in your local area
  • Swimming or water aerobics
  • Using an exercise DVD, CD or video game
  • Joining an exercise class at your local gym

What kind of exercise is best?

The best type of exercise is an activity that you enjoy and that you will be motivated to continue on a regular basis. If you force yourself to pursue activities you don't like, you're not as likely to continue with your exercise program. There is no wrong choice. Whatever works best for you and keeps you moving and motivated will help you control your blood pressure.

What about weight lifting?

Weight lifting helps build muscle. Building more muscle will increase your strength and endurance and, in the long term, help reduce your blood pressure and improve your health. However, weight lifting can cause blood pressure to rise on a short-term basis. Be sure to consult with your doctor about any restrictions he might recommend regarding strength training, weight lifting or other types of exercise.

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