Making exercise part of your daily routine will make a big difference in controlling your blood pressure.
The risk of high blood pressure increases with age. And like it or not, we get older every day. Regular exercise can help prevent high blood pressure, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. If your blood pressure is already high, regular exercise can help you control it.
How exercise helps
Regular physical activity makes your heart stronger. A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort. And the less your heart has to work, the less force, or pressure, that's exerted on your arteries.
Becoming more active can lower your blood pressure by an average of 10 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). That's the same effect as some blood pressure medications. For some people, it's enough to reduce the need for blood pressure medication.
If your blood pressure is at a desirable level — less than 120/80 mm Hg — exercise can keep it from rising as you age. Regular exercise also helps you maintain a healthy weight, another important way to control blood pressure.
You need to keep it up though! It takes about one to three months for regular exercise to have a stabilizing effect on blood pressure. The benefits last only as long as you continue to exercise.
Photo courtesy of jasleen_kaur
I'm Natatia Gemmell.