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By: Northwestern Medicine Fitness Center Staff
A New Take on How Aerobic Exercise Lowers Blood Pressure
We’ve all heard that exercise lowers blood pressure. However, few and far between talk about what type of exercise is the most effective to combat hypertension. If you deal with high blood pressure, focus on aerobic activities because they help your blood vessels and heart. Aerobic exercise focuses on large muscle groups of the body and involve repetitive movements. Brisk walking, swimming, dancing, tennis, jogging and cycling are great examples of aerobic physical activities.
Avoid activities such as sprinting and weightlifting because they will raise your blood pressure quickly in addition to putting strain on the heart and blood vessels. Any type of physical exertion elevates blood pressure for a short time, but aerobic exercise lessens the blow by raising it gradually. Your blood pressure should return to normal shortly after the activity is stopped. Try completing at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise every week.
However, if you have relatively high blood pressure, consult a doctor before beginning any new workout routine.
For more information on aerobic group exercise classes, please visit the Member Services desk.
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