Tags: blood | pressure | exercise

Working out Lowers Blood Pressure

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 02:34 PM


If your mom or dad has high blood pressure, you probably want to hit the gym, according to a new study that finds physical fitness reduces hypertension risks for people with a family history of the condition.
The study, published in the American Heart Association's journal Hypertension, found moderate exercise -- defined as brisk walking for 150 minutes per week -- and increased cardiovascular fitness may be the best way to ward off high blood pressure.
"Understanding the roles that family history and fitness play in chronic diseases is critically important," said lead researcher Robin P. Shook, of the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. "The results of this study send a very practical message, which is that even a very realistic, moderate amount of exercise … can provide a huge health benefit, particularly to people predisposed to hypertension because of their family history."
For the study, researchers tracked more than 6,200 people – aged 20 to 80 years – for nearly five years. They found those who had a parent with high blood pressure but were very fit were half as likely to develop high blood pressure themselves as those with a low-fitness level who had the same family history.
"The correlation between fitness levels, parental history and risk are impossible to ignore," Shook said. "This awareness can serve the clinician and the patient, as they work together to find effective and reasonable ways to avoid the diseases that have affected their family members — in some cases, for generations."
The findings support the American Heart Association's recommendations of moderately intense physical activity, such as brisk walking, for 30 minutes or longer at least five days a week.


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It runs in the family: Exercise cuts the risk of hypertension in people with a family history of the disease.
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Wednesday, 16 May 2012 02:34 PM
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