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Physical activity reduces blood pressure, especially if you have been inactive until now. Physical activity also helps you manage your weight. But being active will lower your blood pressure even if you don't lose weight.

Regular aerobic exercise can help lower high blood pressure. Aerobic exercise includes activities that raise your heart rate, such as walking, bicycling, dancing, swimming, and jogging.

  • People who don't exercise are more likely to develop high blood pressure than people who do exercise.
  • To lower blood pressure, try to do moderate activity at least 2½ hours a week. Or try to do vigorous activity at least 1¼ hours a week.1
  • Exercise also helps you lose weight and has been proved to reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Regular exercise also lowers your risk for diabetes. This is important, because having diabetes increases your risk of complications from high blood pressure.

Citations

  1. Eckel RH, et al. (2013). 2013 AHA/ACC guideline on lifestyle management to reduce cardiovascular risk: A report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Circulation. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2013/11/11/01.cir.0000437740.48606.d1.citation. Accessed December 5, 2013.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerRobert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology

Current as ofSeptember 24, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

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Heart Rate Calculator

Ensure you're exercising hard enough to get a good workout, but not strain your heart.

While you are exercising, you should count between...

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Beats
PER
Seconds