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Lorena Smalley

For many older adults, high blood pressure is something they are living with and keeping under control with the help of modern medicine.  We all have heard that exercise can help our blood pressure but how many of us understand HOW?  We found a fantastic article written by the Mayo Clinic that outlines:

  • How exercise can lower your blood pressure
  • How much exercise do you need?
  • Weight training and high blood pressure
  • When you need your doctor’s OK, and
  • Keep it safe and Monitor your progress

Its not a long read, so if you are dealing with high blood pressure, take a read and make sure to check out Part 2 of our Exercise & Health series on exercise and diabetes!

Group of senior adults biking in the park

Exercise: A drug-free approach to lowering high blood pressure – By Mayo Clinic Staff

Having high blood pressure and not getting enough exercise are closely related. Discover how small changes in your daily routine can make a big difference.

Your risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) increases with age, but getting some exercise can make a big difference. And if your blood pressure is already high, exercise can help you control it. Don’t think you’ve got to run a marathon or join a gym. Instead, start slow and work more physical activity into your daily routine.

How exercise can lower your blood pressure

How are high blood pressure and exercise connected? Regular physical activity makes your heart stronger. A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort. If your heart can work less to pump, the force on your arteries decreases, lowering your blood pressure.

Becoming more active can lower your systolic blood pressure — the top number in a blood pressure reading — by an average of 4 to 9 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). That’s as good as some blood pressure medications. For some people, getting some exercise is 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 help prevent it from rising as you age. Regular exercise also helps you maintain a healthy weight — another important way to control blood pressure.

But to keep your blood pressure low, you need to keep exercising on a regular basis. It takes about one to three months for regular exercise to have an impact on your blood pressure. The benefits last only as long as you continue to exercise.

CLICK HERE to visit the Mayo Clinic website and read the entire article!

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