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09/08/2006 - News

Walking can lower blood pressure

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD

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Walking can lower blood pressure

Reported by Susan Aldridge, PhD, medical journalist

Just a few short bouts of walking during the day have been shown to lower high blood pressure.
It is already known that exercise can help with hypertension - high blood pressure, as it is commonly called. But many people feel they don't have the time for exercise, even walking. Now there is new evidence from the University of Indiana that even short bouts of walking may help with high blood pressure.

The team looked at 15 men and five women who had prehypertension - that is, blood pressure between 120-139 mm Hg (top figure or systolic blood pressure) and between 80-89 mm Hg (bottom figure or diastolic hypertension). Those with prehypertension are at risk of developing full-blown hypertension, with the attendant risks of heart disease and stroke. In this study, the participants walked on a treadmill for 40 minutes on one day and for four bouts of ten minutes on another day. In both cases there was a significant drop in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure which lasted for several hours. The impact was, in fact, greater for those who walked for four sessions of ten minutes. This is good news for busy people - it suggests you can indeed control your blood pressure through short bursts of exercise that you can fit into your day.

Source
Journal of Hypertension September 2006

Created on: 09/08/2006
Reviewed on: 09/08/2006

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