Workout Routine if You Have High Blood Pressure

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A man is biking. (Image: Dave & Les Jacobs/Blend Images/Getty Images)

If you have high blood pressure, your doctor is likely to recommend diet and exercise changes to lower your number. When diet and exercise do not help, blood pressure medications are typically prescribed. Speak to your doctor about any modifications you may need to make to your workout routine if you suffer from high blood pressure. To maintain a safe range while exercising, monitor the intensity of your workout.

Aerobic Activity

Your workout routine should consist of 30 minutes of aerobic activity most days of the week. If you don’t have 30 minutes continuously to exercise, break workouts into shorter 10- to 15-minute intervals. Brisk walking, cycling, jogging, swimming and stair climbing can be performed as part of your workout routine.

Strength Training

Strength train three days a week to help lower your blood pressure. Since lifting causes a temporary increase in blood pressure, keep weight loads modest. Control your breathing throughout movement and stop if you feel dizzy or light-headed. Use resistance exercise machines such as bicep curls, ab exercisers, leg presses and chest presses to work your upper body, lower body and core. Start off with one to two sets of 10 to 12 reps for each machine.

Considerations

Besides a regular workout routine, lower your blood pressure by adding more exercise to your day-to-day life. Take walks during your breaks and lunch hours at work, bike to school or work, park far from entrances in parking lots, and walk the dog instead of letting him in the backyard. In the winter, take treks around malls and other enclosed areas to increase physical activity.

Warning

High-intensity bouts of exercise are not typically recommended for high blood pressure sufferers. Instead, you should work out at a moderate pace. To know you are working out at a safe level, you should have the ability to carry on a conversation comfortably. Wear a heart rate monitoring device during exercise. Your target heart rate while exercising is 50 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate; your maximum heart rate is approximately 220 minus your age. Since blood pressure medications can lower your target heart rate, consult your doctor about making adjustments during exercise.

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