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How does exercise lower blood pressure?

Posted Oct 01 2008 8:12pm

If humans are like rats, those with high blood pressure will live longer when they exercise, even if their blood pressures do not return to normal. Rats can be bred to develop a genetic trait in which they develop high blood pressure, but when they exercise, they live much longer than the rats that do not exercise (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, May 2006).

Having high blood pressure can kill you. It increases your chances of suffering a heart attack, stroke, or kidney disease. Exercise usually lowers high blood pressure because high blood pressure usually is determined by blood volume. Anything that reduces blood volume also reduces high blood pressure. That’s why diuretics are the most effective drugs to lower high blood pressure. Exercising for a few minutes usually does not lower high blood pressure, but exercising for several hours dehydrates you and usually does lower high blood pressure. This study shows that even if exercise does not lower high blood pressure in rats, it still helps them to live longer, and the same may apply to you. More

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