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FAQ (Health)

 Dr. George Jacob
Heart Infocenter


Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

Exercise (Physical Activity) For Prevention of or Treatment of Hypertension

Being physically active is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent or control high blood pressure. It also helps reduce your risk of heart disease. It doesn't take a lot of effort to become physically active. The following guidelines form National Institute of Health tells us how.

See Also:

Phase 1: Getting Started

Get started by doing 30 minutes of a moderate-level activity on most, and preferably all, days of the week. Brisk walking, bicycling, and gardening are examples. You can even divide the 30 minutes into shorter periods of at least 10 minutes each. For instance:

  • Use stairs instead of an elevator
  • Get off a bus one or two stops early
  • Park your car at the far end of the lot at work

Note: Check with your doctor before you start on any exercise program. This is especially true if you have heart trouble or have had a heart attack, if you are older and are not used to doing a moderate-level activity, if you have a family history of heart disease at an early age, or if you have any other serious health problem.

Phase 2: Moderate-Level Physical Activities

Engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate-level activity on most, and preferably all, days of the week. Examples of moderate-level activity are:

  • Walking briskly (3-4 miles per hour)
  • Conditioning or general calisthenics
  • Home care and general cleaning
  • Home repair, such as painting
  • Mowing the lawn (with power mower)
  • Gardening
  • Dancing
  • Racket sports, such as table tennis
  • Golf (walking the course)
  • Fishing (standing and casting, walking, or wading)
  • Swimming (with moderate effort)
  • Cycling (at a moderate speed of 10 miles per hour or less)
  • Canoeing or rowing (at a speed of about 2-3.9 miles per hour)

Source: Adapted from Pate, et al., Journal of the American Medical Association, 1995, Vol. 273, page 404.

See Also: Tips to Stay Motivated with a Walking Plan

Source: National Institute of Health

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