TopicHow can I lower my blood pressure for a test?
New studies show that moderate activities such as regular walking, dancing, swimming, golf and tennis can reduce blood pressure levels significantly. In fact, exercise is crucial for maintaining healthy blood pressure. No other lifestyle change will provide such immediate and enduring benefits to your health and well-being.
If you haven't been active for a while, start out easy with just 10 minutes a day, then add five minutes a week to your walking regimen, building up to 30 minutes total, five days a week. Make it more enjoyable by walking with friends.
Avoid exercise that is too strenuous, especially if you're just embarking on an exercise program to reduce blood pressure. I advise my patients to never jog or run. Studies have shown a connection between heart attacks and sudden exertion, so talk to your doctor before you engage in more aggressive workouts, such as aerobics.
But don't feel that you must engage in heart-straining exercise to reap big rewards. The Nurses' Health Study found that women who walked briskly at least three hours per week achieved results equivalent to jogging or aerobic dancing.