Why is exercise important for blood pressure management?
Regular aerobic exercise has a variety of effects that protect against heart disease and diseases of the blood vessels, including high BP. On average, exercise reduces blood pressure by about 6–7 mmHg. Scientific studies with large numbers of volunteers have shown that, if systolic BP is reduced by 5 mmHg, deaths from strokes decrease by 14% and deaths from coronary heart disease (i.e. blocking of the blood vessels that supply the heart) decrease by 9%. Regular physical activity is the first treatment recommended to lower BP and improve cardiovascular health, both in the general population and in those people with hypertension.