Fitness and Physical Activity


Maj West
Developing a regular fitness routine is one of the most important lifestyle changes that a hypertensive person can make. Physical activity not only helps control blood pressure, it’s also beneficial in many other ways.

Regular activity can help you lose weight, and in some cases allow you to decrease or delay your use of antihypertensive medication. Exercise has also been shown to lower your risk of osteoporosis and even help reduce depression.

If you’ve been diagnosed with hypertension, in most cases your provider will suggest that you increase your physical activity. In general, the recommended target for physical activity is 30 to 45 minutes of aerobic exercise at least four times a week. If you also need to lose weight, then your provider may suggest that you exercise five to seven times a week.

Lt Col Reynolds
Aerobic exercise involves rhythmic activity that uses large muscle groups such as running, walking, cycling, or swimming. These types of exercise cause an increase in both your heart and respiration rates. There are also a variety of indoor workout machines that can provide similar benefits. It’s important to remember to start out slowly, and gradually build up to a full program.

It’s also important to select an activity that you really enjoy, and to use a self-monitoring device, like a mobile app or a pedometer, to encourage you to stick with it. It’s easier to maintain a routine when you have goals that are easy to track, and you’re doing something that you enjoy.

Be sure to check with your provider before starting an exercise program just to be certain that you don’t take on more than your body can handle.