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Heart Health

People are always talking about the extensive list of health benefits as a result of exercise. There are many benefits such as reduction in stress, better sleep and boosts energy. One of the most important benefits from exercise results in the lowering of blood pressure. As we age, blood pressure naturally tends to increase in most people. Three out of four people over age 60 have elevated blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to many negative side effects as it can cause an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. This may sound scary but exercise is one of the most effective ways to lower blood pressure and increase overall heart health. Exercise generally decreases both the systolic and diastolic value by five to seven points, and the decrease can occur as early as three to four weeks after increasing your activity level. Although aerobic exercise is an excellent way to lower blood pressure, moderate exercise and weight training have been shown to decrease blood pressure over time. Studies have shown that weight training may raise blood pressure temporarily but over time this training has shown to be as effective as blood pressure medications.
Regular exercise and an active lifestyle are key elements in an overall healthy lifestyle. The American Heart Association recommends that you get 30 minutes of aerobic activity 5 days out of the week. This may be hard for some to find the time, but any amount of physical activity helps and breaking up into several periods of activity can be manageable.