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High Blood Pressure and Exercise

  •  Posted 09/11/2015

ProMedica HealthConnect talked with ProMedica Wildwood Athletic Club trainer Kelsey Sobol to learn the basics about exercising with high blood pressure.

What should those with high blood pressure know before starting an exercise program?

Exercise is ultimately a tool for reducing blood pressure, but participants should always speak with their physician before starting an exercise program. Once you’ve received full clearance, it’s highly beneficial to meet with a certified personal trainer to help get you started. There are many modifications, even for the simplest of exercises, that should be implemented to keep you safe and healthy.

Why is exercise so good for lowering blood pressure?

Regular exercise challenges the cardiovascular system and makes the heart stronger over time. A stronger, more well-conditioned heart is able to pump more blood with less effort in a similar manner to other muscles in the body being challenged by weight training. A more efficient heart means less force on the arteries and lower blood pressure. There are both immediate and long-term benefits stemming from physical activity. A day or two after, exercise participants can see a reduced blood pressure reading. For lasting benefits, exercisers should plan to see a change within 4-8 weeks of starting their regular exercise routine. It should be noted, however, that in order for these results to be permanent you must continue with regular physical activity.

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