Q: “I’m confused, is exercise good or bad for someone with hypertension?”
Mikey, via email
A: GP Dr Dawn Harper answers:
“Exercise is good for just about everyone. Regular exercise will reduce blood pressure, keeping your heart and blood vessels fit and healthy. I suspect you’re confused as physical exercise does cause blood pressure to rise temporarily. But, it will soon return to normal and, the fitter you are, the quicker this will happen.
If your blood pressure is extremely high, your doctor may prefer you to lower it with medication before starting an exercise regime, so keep them informed about any exercise you intend to do.
Cardio activity will help your heart and blood vessels most, so stick to activities like walking, jogging, dancing and cycling. It’s best to steer clear of exercise that involves short intense bursts, such as sprinting or weight lifting, as this can put undue strain on your cardiovascular system. If in doubt, ask your GP. But, don’t shy away from exercise – keeping fit is an integral part of good health.”