Exercise and Blood Pressure

Ask the Expert

Q:

How does exercise affect blood pressure?


A:

Getting enough exercise can improve your blood pressure numbers and help get it under control. A lack of physical activity can be damaging to your health. Why? People who are inactive tend to have higher heart rates (the number of times your heart beats per minute). The higher your heart rate, the harder your heart must work—and the higher your blood pressure can get. Lack of physical activity also increases your risk of being overweight, which can lead to higher blood pressure.

The good news is that every minute counts! It only takes 30 minutes of exercise a day to lower your blood pressure. Exercise doesn't mean you have to run a marathon or swim across the ocean. It can be as simple as parking farther from the store, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, playing actively with your kids or going for a walk around the block after dinner.

Article courtesy of Measure Up/Pressure Down®. Measure Up/Pressure Down is a three-year national campaign created by the American Medical Group Foundation to improve blood pressure control. Learn how to lower your risk and manage the disease with our booklet, Circulation Nation: Your Roadmap to Managing High Blood Pressure.

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