Regular aerobic exercise makes your heart stronger and enables your heart to pump greater volumes of blood with less effort. This reduces the force on your arteries and blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. Regular exercise can lower blood pressure by 5-10 mmHg (in many case greater reductions can be seen) which is the equivalent to some prescription medications.
Any repetitive rhythmic movement that uses the large muscles of your body, such as those in your legs, shoulders and arms is considered aerobic exercise. When you perform aerobic exercise you will notice that your breathing and heart rate increase and it is this increase which benefits your heart and helps reduce blood pressure.
Some examples of mild aerobic activities
Some examples of moderate aerobic exercise
You should aim to include 20 to 30 minutes of moderate exercise 3-5 times a week. It doesn’t matter if you do 20 minutes in one go or you do four 5 minute activities. The important thing is you get 20-30 minutes of exercise 3-5 times a week (ideally 5 times!). If you can’t manage this, any increase activity is better than no activity! Any regular exercise which raises your heart will make your heart stronger and healthier. Remember when you first start off exercising, listen to your body. Take it easy to begin with!
As a general rule it is probably a good idea for anyone with high blood pressure to check with their doctor first to check if it is ok to start exercising. That said for a rough guide, see the information below
There are three other benefits of increased activity - it promotes weight loss, improves blood sugar metabolism, and helps to reduce cholesterol.
20 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week will help reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, help manage type 2 diabetes AND help you lose weight! Regular exercise also helps stop these conditions from developing in the first place.... It’s a no brainer isn’t it?
High Blood Pressure Causes 62% of all Strokes and 49% of all Heart Attacks... Check your BP on the blood pressure chart. If the chart shows you are in the prehypertension or hypertension ranges, do something about it, even if it is just having a chat with your doctor. The blood pressure chart is for all adults regardless of age, as whilst your age rises, the thresholds for prehypertension and hypertension don't! (there is no blood pressure chart by age!) No matter what your age - if your BP is above 140/90 you should set about lowering it. You can record and monitor your readings on our printable blood pressure log.