There is a close correlation between high blood pressure and not getting enough exercise. Exercise can reduce risks of hypertension associated with age. And if you already suffer from high blood pressure, appropriate exercise along with dietary and herbal strategies can very effectively normalize your blood pressure.

For those who don’t exercise, it can seem like a daunting commitment. It is not! You are not preparing for a triathlon here, simply getting an appropriate amount of aerobic exercise regularly.

How does exercise help?

Regular aerobic exercise strengthens the heart. A heart which is stronger can pump more blood with less effort. With less force in pumping, the force decreases on your arteries, resulting in lower blood pressure.

A desirable blood pressure is 120 / 80. Appropriate exercise can reduce your systolic blood pressure (the higher number) by 5 to 10 generally. Some blood pressure medications don’t do as much as that, and the benefits of exercise extend beyond controlling hypertension.

Remember that the benefits only last as long as you maintain the exercise regime.

What type of exercise and how much?

Weights and flexibility exercises are an important part of an overall fitness plan. To control blood pressure takes aerobic, or cardio, exercises. If you add moderate physical activities to your daily routine you can easily get the recommended 30 minutes of aerobic exercise without even having to join a gym. Walk more, or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Use your bicycle, or start gentle jogging. Swimming is great for cardio.

Start slowly, and it is always a good idea to consult your physician is you have any concerns. If you are overweight, or smoke, a man over 40 or a woman over 45, suffer from high cholesterol or hypertension, have dizzy spells, or have a family history of heart disease, it is recommended that you do consult your physician before embarking on anything but a very mild exercise regime.

You should also monitor your blood pressure regularly

If you are using a home monitoring system, you will get more accurate readings if you check your blood pressure before exercising, or else no sooner than one hour after you finish your exercises.