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High Blood Pressure?

Timeless Fitness Tip

It wasn't all that long ago people who suffered with high blood pressure were discouraged from picking up weights as it was commonly thought weight lifting would increase blood pressure.

High blood pressure? Take your blood pressure reading

Evidence now indicates the opposite - this type of exercise can actually reduce blood pressure.

Research has been on-going since 1966 on the issue and findings now indicate weight training reduces systolic and diastolic (the bottom number) in those with borderline hypertension.

Pick up some weights!

Silver Dumbbell Those who were studied exercised with weights 20 to 60 minutes, two to five times a week, for up to 14 weeks. Lifting heavier weights for shorter periods of time and lifting lighter weights for longer periods of time both showed similiar results. Now, the American Heart Association is recommending this type of exercise for people with and without cardiovascular disease. Please note, however, if you have uncontrolled hypertension, a systolic blood pressure of 160 or higher, diastolic 100 or higher, weight training is NOT recommended. Always check with your doctor to determine if this type of exercise is for you.

What about the effects of weight lifting on your heart?

A while back a report came out that stated weight lifting could stiffen arteries - not true for the average adult lifting weights as a general fitness routine. Those that suffered this problem that prompted the report were lifting very heavy weights for only a few repetitions. They were all young male athletes who did no aerobic exercise at all. Aerobically trained athletes have more elastic arteries.

Lifting Weights So, if you enjoy pumping iron, by all means, keep doing so (with doctor's approval)! Use weights that you can comfortably lift and begin to tire the muscle by the 10th or 12th repetition.

Also, be sure to do some type of aerobic exercise such as walking, jogging, swimming etc. You needn't run any marathons! Just get some movement on a regular basis.

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