Exercise and High Blood Pressure

January 29, 2010

We all know that both diet and exercise are important.  We know they work together to help keep our body healy. Pure determination to succeed and discipline are the two keys to help keep and manage our body’s health.

Recently a new article published in the Archives of Internal Medicine ,January 2010, showed that diet alone may not be as effective as diet PLUS exercise in helping control ones blood pressure.

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BACKGROUND: Although the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet has been shown to lower blood pressure (BP) in short-term feeding studies, it has not been shown to lower BP among free-living individuals, nor has it been shown to alter cardiovascular biomarkers of risk.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the DASH diet alone or combined with a weight management program with usual diet controls among participants with prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension (systolic BP, 130-159 mm Hg; or diastolic BP, 85-99 mm Hg).

DESIGN AND SETTING: Randomized, controlled trial in a tertiary care medical center with assessments at baseline and 4 months. Enrollment began October 29, 2003, and ended July 28, 2008. PARTICIPANTS: Overweight or obese, unmedicated outpatients with high BP (N = 144).

INTERVENTIONS: Usual diet controls, DASH diet alone, and DASH diet plus weight management.

OUTCOME MEASURES: The main outcome measure is BP measured in the clinic and by ambulatory BP monitoring. Secondary outcomes included pulse wave velocity, flow-mediated dilation of the brachial artery, baroreflex sensitivity, and left ventricular mass.

 RESULTS: Clinic-measured BP was reduced by 16.1/9.9 mm Hg (DASH plus weight management); 11.2/7.5 mm (DASH alone); and 3.4/3.8 mm (usual diet controls) (P < .001). A similar pattern was observed for ambulatory BP (P < .05). Greater improvement was noted for DASH plus weight management compared with DASH alone for pulse wave velocity, baroreflex sensitivity, and left ventricular mass (all P < .05).

CONCLUSION: For overweight or obese persons with above-normal BP, the addition of exercise and weight loss to the DASH diet resulted in even larger BP reductions, greater improvements in vascular and autonomic function, and reduced left ventricular mass.

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The above study showed that the famed DASH diet should be combined with exercise and weight loss to result in greater BP reductions than just the DASH diet by itself or usual diet.   Likewise the study showed based on some biochemical markers that weight management augmented the cardiovascular benefits of the DASH diet.

Overall this study tells us the importance of including behavioral modification and lifestyle programs for patients with high blood pressure.  This is an important study result because the combination of diet and exercise should remain the cornerstone of therapy of any chronic diseases associated with high blood pressure including diabetes and high cholesterol.

Another reason to EXERCISE!!!!

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2 Responses to “Exercise and High Blood Pressure”


  1. Absolutely essential that one should combine diet with exercise. A Double Whammy is needed to control BP. Rightly said.


  2. En los últimos años el WEBSITE POSITIONING ha cobrado cada
    vez más importancia.


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