Health & Well-Being-Mild hypertension reduced by exercise

If you are one of the 50 million people in the United States who has high blood pressure (hypertension), consider a program of aerobic exercise, which can help bring that pressure down.

Writing in a recent issue of ACSM's (American College of Sports Medicine) Health & Fitness Journal, Christopher Cooper, MD, FAACSM, outlines the normal function of exercise and its positive effect on mild hypertension. Adding that aerobic exercise may even prevent development of hypertension, he also cautions that if the systolic pressure (the upper figure) falls more than 20 mm during exercise, more serious heart dysfunction could be present and the exercise should be terminated.

Cooper adds that the most improvement begins with an acute bout of exercise, and that within six to eight weeks the patient will see a consistently low figure. He cautions, however, that for permanent control, exercise must become a permanent part of one's life.