Don't spend time worrying about the best type of exercise to control your high blood pressure: Almost any exercise is fine.
Walking, cycling, or light weight training — all are effective especially if they are done in chunks of time spaced throughout your day, says The New York Times
“Even standing might work,” Glenn Gaesser, the director of the Healthy Lifestyles Research Center at Arizona State University and an expert on exercise and hypertension, told the Times
That's good news for the 70 million Americans — about 1 in 3 American adults — who have hypertension as well as an almost equal number who have prehypertension.
Regular exercise makes the heart stronger by making blood vessels less stiff and allowing the heart to pump more blood with less effort. The easier your heart can pump blood, the lower your blood pressure.
A study conducted by Dr. Gaesser in 2012 found that exercise broken into small bits throughout the day, such as three 10-minute walks, prevented spikes in blood pressure better than one 30-minute walk.
If you can't spare 10 minutes, just standing might help.
A new study conducted by Dr. Gaesser found that if overweight volunteers who had high blood pressure stood every hour for at least 10 minutes, their blood pressure improved substantially when compared to those who sat continuously.
Their blood pressure readings dropped even more if they walked leisurely or pedaled exercise bikes during their hourly breaks.
The important thing is to move. “Exercise intensity does not appear to play any significant role” in helping people control blood pressure, Dr. Gaesser told the Times
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