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Exercise and Hypertension: A Path to Better Heart Health


Exercise and Hypertension: A Path to Better Heart Health.

Hypertension is a medical condition characterised by elevated blood pressure levels in the arteries. It's a significant risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and other health issues. Hypertension often develops gradually and is influenced by various factors, including genetics, lifestyle, and age.
This week, we'll explore the relationship between exercise and its role in helping manage high blood pressure.


Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a serious health condition that can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and other health problems. It is estimated that nearly 1 billion people worldwide have hypertension.

While exercise plays a role in managing high blood pressure, it's essential to acknowledge that pharmaceutical intervention may also be necessary. It's advisable to consult with your healthcare provider when addressing hypertension.

What constitutes high blood pressure?

Blood pressure is measured in two numbers: systolic and diastolic. The systolic pressure is the pressure when the heart beats, and the diastolic pressure is the pressure between heartbeats.

A ′textbook′ blood pressure reading is 120/80 mmHg. High blood pressure is diagnosed when blood pressure readings are consistently 140/90 mmHg or higher.

Exercise Recommendations:

The Australian Heart Foundation recommends the following exercise guidelines for people with hypertension:

Aerobic exercise: Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise most days of the week. Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise raises your heart rate and breathing, but you should still be able to talk in complete sentences. Examples of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise include brisk walking, swimming, biking, and dancing.

Strength training: Aim for at least 2 days of strength training per week. Strength training helps to build and strengthen your muscles. Examples of strength training exercises include weight lifting, bodyweight exercises, and resistance band exercises.

If you are new to exercise, start slowly and gradually increase the amount of time and intensity of your workouts over time. It is also important to listen to your body and rest when you need to.

Exercise is a safe and effective way to lower blood pressure and improve overall health. If you have hypertension, talk to your doctor about how to get started or talk to one of the Exercise Physiologists at REPS Movement about exercise program that is right for you. When incorporating exercise to manage hypertension, consider the following recommendations:

Consult Your Doctor:
Before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have hypertension or other medical conditions, consult your healthcare provider for personalised guidance.
Flexibility and Relaxation:
Activities like stretching, yoga, and deep breathing exercises can complement your routine by reducing stress and improving overall well-being.
Strength Training:
Include strength training exercises two to three times a week to build muscle and support weight management.
Aerobic Exercise:
Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week. This can be broken into 30-minute sessions on most days.
Consistency is key. Regular exercise is more effective in managing hypertension than sporadic workouts. Remember that while exercise is beneficial, it should be part of a comprehensive approach to managing hypertension. This includes a healthy diet, medication (if prescribed by your doctor), stress management, and lifestyle modifications. Always consult with a healthcare professional to create a personalized plan that suits your specific needs and medical history.


In closing, we've explored the powerful impact of exercise on the management of high blood pressure. It's evident that regular physical activity can be a cornerstone of a heart-healthy lifestyle, helping to lower blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health, and enhance overall well-being. However, it's important to remember that hypertension is a complex condition, and while exercise is a valuable tool, individual cases may require a multifaceted approach that includes lifestyle changes, medication, and regular check-ups with a healthcare professional. The key takeaway is this: taking proactive steps to incorporate exercise into your daily routine is a proactive and positive choice for your heart health. Whether it's a brisk walk, a swim, or a yoga session, every effort counts. Remember, your heart is your most important ally in the journey of life, and by nurturing it through exercise, you're investing in a healthier, happier future. So, let's lace up those sneakers, hit the gym, or find our favourite active pursuit, and together, we'll keep our hearts strong and hypertension at bay. Here's to a heart-healthy, exercise-filled life!