How Much Exercise You Need Weekly To Control Your Blood Pressure? Know Here

A recent study says if you are looking to protect yourself against high blood pressure or hypertension as you age, you need to be consistent with lifestyle changes like regular exercise and workouts starting from early adulthood through middle age. Read on to know how much exercise you need to do for a stable heart condition.
Exercise to reduce blood pressure

Hypertension - also known as high blood pressure, is a serious condition that affects billions of people across all ages globally

It is a known fact that you need to keep fit and healthy for all your organs to work fine. When it comes to your heart health, apart from eating a healthy diet, exercising and consistent workouts are the best ways you can protect yourself against hypertension and cholesterol levels. According to a recent study, to regulate your blood pressure levels as you age, you need to play the long game and keep your exercise levels up through middle age.
The research, conducted by the University of California, studied more than 5,000 people across four US cities. Experts believe that social factors can make it difficult for some people to be consistent with their workout regimes than others. "Teenagers and those in their early 20s may be physically active but these patterns change with age," said Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, the study author and epidemiologist from the University of California.
“Exercise lowers blood pressure, but the new work suggests that maintaining physical activity during young adulthood – at higher levels than previously recommended – may be particularly important" for preventing hypertension," said Bibbins-Domingo.
Hypertension - also known as high blood pressure, is a serious condition that affects billions of people across all ages globally. If unchecked, it leads to serious and life-threatening conditions like heart attack and stroke. According to doctors, high blood pressure is also a risk factor for developing dementia in later life.

How much should you exercise to lower blood pressure?

The study tracked health of 5,000 adults over 30 years with physical assessments and questionnaires about their exercise habits, smoking status, and alcohol intake. At each clinical assessment, their blood pressure levels were measured thrice, a minute apart, and for the data analysis, participants were grouped into four categories, by race and gender.
According to the results, amongst men, and women - levels of physical activity slumped from 18-40 years of age, with rates of hypertension rising and physical activity falling over subsequent decades.
And so, the scientists concluded that young adulthood is an important window for intervening to prevent midlife hypertension with health promotion programs designed to boost exercise. "Nearly half of our participants in young adulthood had suboptimal levels of physical activity, which was significantly associated with the onset of hypertension, indicating that we need to raise the minimum standard for physical activity," said Jason Nagata, the lead author of the study and a UCSF expert in young adult medicine.

Five hours of weekly exercise does the trick

The study says five hours of moderate exercise every week during your early adulthood lowers the risk of high blood pressure levels significantly, especially if people maintain their exercise habits until they are 60 years old. "Achieving at least twice the current minimum adult [physical activity] guidelines may be more beneficial for the prevention of hypertension than simply meeting the minimum guidelines," the researchers wrote.
According to the recommendations, a mix of moderate-intensity along with vigorous aerobic activity every week can help lower blood pressure. These exercises include:
  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Dancing
  • High-intensity interval training, which alternates short periods of intense activity with lighter activity
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