Regular Activity Is Important In Controlling High Blood Pressure

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Regular exercise can help prevent high blood pressure, and if your blood pressure is already high, exercise can help you control it.

You can strengthen your heart with regular physical activity. The less your heart needs to work, the less force or pressure is exerted on your arteries. For some people exercise alone can reduce the need for blood pressure medication.

If your blood pressure is already at a desirable level, exercise can keep it from rising as you age. Another important key in controlling blood pressure is a healthy weight. Exercise can also help you maintain a healthy weight.

The main core to it all is keeping it up. It takes approximately one to three months of regular exercise to have a stabilizing effect on blood pressure. The benefits received from regular exercise only continue as long as you stay with it.

Any activity that increases your heart and breathing rates is considered aerobic. Common forms of aerobic activity include:

* Mowing the lawn
* Raking leaves
* Scrubbing floors
* Walking in the mall, on scenic trails or a treadmill
* Jogging
* Climbing stairs
* Bicycling
* Swimming
* Dancing

An appropriate goal is at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity most days of the week. Shorter periods of aerobic activity count too if you cannot exercise in one period of time.

You need to check with your doctor first if:

* You are a man older than age 40 or a woman older than age 50
* You smoke
* You are overweight or obese
* You have a chronic health condition, including high blood pressure or high cholesterol
* You have had a heart attack
* You have a family history of heart-related problems before age 55
* You feel pain in your chest or become dizzy with exertion
* You are unsure of whether or not you should start an exercise program
* If you take medication regularly, ask your doctor how the increased activity will affect the way your body reacts to exercise

To keep your aerobic workouts safe and reduce the possibility of injuries:

* Warm up before you exercise
* Cool down after you exercise
* Gradually build up the intensity of your workouts

Seek immediate medical care if you experience any of the following warning signs during exercise:

* Chest pain or tightness
* Dizziness or faintness
* Pain in an arm or your jaw
* Severe shortness of breath
* An irregular heartbeat
* Excessive fatigue

The only way to know for sure that you have high blood pressure is to keep track of your blood pressure readings. If you check your blood pressure using an at home monitoring device, check your blood pressure before you exercise. This will ensure accurate readings.

Source: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

Disclaimer: *This article is not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any kind of a health problem. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Always consult with your health care provider about any kind of a health problem and especially before beginning any kind of an exercise routine.

This article is FREE to publish with the resource box. Article written 3-2007.

About the Author:

Connie Limon, Trilogy Field Representative. Visit and sign up for a weekly nutrition and health tip. The article collection is available as FREE reprints for your newsletters, websites or blog. Visit to purchase an array of superior quality, safe and effective products inspired by nature, informed by science and created to improve the health of people, pets and the planet.

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