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High Blood Pressure / Hypertension Community
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Can blood pressure by controlled by exercise alone?

You read about exercise like it is medicine.  That you can simply do some type of exercise for 30 minutes a day for 5 weeks and your blood pressure should be controlled.  Is this really the case for anyone?
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Avatar universal
A 2019 article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/53/14/859) attempted to address this question. This meta-analysis found that antihypertensive drugs were more effective in lowering blood pressure than structured exercise in the case of the general population. However, when looking specifically at people with high blood pressure, the meta-analysis found that exercise was as effective as most blood-lowering medication. However, the study authors advise against giving up on antihypertensive medication and replacing it with exercise.

The classification and treatment of hypertension is a constantly evolving topic. Please refer to the latest AHA/ACC guidelines on when to treat hypertension with nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic therapy.
2 Comments
Thank you for your response.  I am trying to keep my blood pressure low.  Not high enough to have my doctor prescribe medications but we are watching it.  I then start to struggle with pressure to get this exercise in.  And eating right and all of the other things I need to do to take care of myself.  It is more worth it if I feel like it's not for 'nothing', if that makes sense.  Do I really have a chance of controlling blood pressure this way verses going straight to medication?  
Nonpharmacologic interventions to reduce blood pressure include: weight loss for overweight or obese patients with a heart healthy diet, sodium restriction, and potassium supplementation within the diet; and increased physical activity with a structured exercise program. See Table 15 in article linked below for approximate impact on systolic blood pressure.

Source: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/HYP.0000000000000065
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