One in every three adults have hypertension in the US. It is very important to take control of your high blood pressure, as hypertension can lead to heart disease and or even stroke. For most, medication, a healthy diet and an active lifestyle can help to decrease blood pressure and keep it in a safe range.
Being physically active has been proven to decrease resting blood pressure in those with hypertension. One can expect to see results of lower resting blood pressure within 3 weeks to 2 months of starting an exercise program. The best exercises to focus on when it comes to hypertension are dynamic aerobic ones, such as walking, running, swimming, cycling, any exercise that keeps your body moving and uses large muscle groups! These types of exercise should be done at least 5 days a week for about 30-60 minutes.
Static exercise, such as strength training, could pose a threat to those with hypertension. Weight lifting alone causes an increase in blood pressure, whether you have hypertension or not. So, if you have high blood pressure before you even pick up a dumbbell, it will only increase more from the pressure put on your arteries during this type of exercise. Since static exercises increase blood pressure, they usually aren’t introduced into your exercise program until 3 or 4 months of training, depending on your hypertension status.
If you stop your exercise program, your resting blood pressure will start to rise again. It is important to note that exercise alone is not always the only option. For those with severe hypertension, medication should be started first to get your blood pressure in a safe range for exercise. One at risk for developing hypertension or those already diagnosed with it should remember to always consult their doctor before starting a new exercise regimen.