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Lower Blood pressure with Exercise
Approximately 65 million Americans have high blood pressure (HBP). It is most common over the age of 55 and even if you make it to 55 with normal blood pressure there is still a large possibility you will develop HBP in the future.
HBP is known as the "silent killer" as there are no early warning signs. HBP is a great health problem as it increases your risk for heart attack, kidney disease, heart disease and stroke. Normal blood pressure is 120/80 whereas high is considered 140/90. Anything in between is termed "prehypertension" and still carries an increased risk for chronic conditions.
The treatment of HBP includes lifestyle changes and possibly medications. One of the best treatments for HBP is exercise. Here are some fitness guidelines to lower your blood pressure:
*If you are a beginner and have HBP or other chronic ailments see your physician first. Begin with low to moderate intensity aerobic exercise for a comfortable duration aiming eventually for 30 minutes five times a week.
*Choose an activity that uses the large muscle groups such as walking, bicycling or swimming. The most important factor is to choose something you enjoy.
*Beginners should exercise at an intensity level that allows them to carry on a conversation with no labored breathing.
*As you progress, try to slowly raise the intensity instead of increasing the duration. Check with your physician before making any major changes in how hard you are working. One of the most effective ways to increase intensity is called interval training. This means hard-recover. An example might be walk one minute hard followed by two minutes at an easier recovery pace and keep repeating the cycle.
* Vary your activities according to the above guidelines. Choosing different activities is called crosstraining and can help prevent plateaus, injuries and boredom.
Adopting a regular exercise program helps prevent and lower HBP. It can also reduce the need for medications. Other lifestyle changes which lower blood pressure are eating a healthy diet, reducing salt, limiting alchohol consumption, stopping smoking and maintaining a healthy weight.
About the Author: Dr Lanny Schaffer is an Exercise Physiologist and the president of The International Fitness Academy. For more cutting edge health and fitness information go to http://www.aerobic-exercise-coach.com