Exercise and blood pressure

Walking and hypertension

Walk it off.

That’s the advice from a recent blood pressure study conducted at Indiana University where researchers compared different types of exercise in 20 subjects who were diagnosed with prehypertension.

The study was conducted in two phases. In phase one, each subject exercised on a treadmill for 40 minutes. In phase two, subjects split their treadmill exercise into four 10-minute sessions spread out over three and a half hours.

Results: The 40 minute walk reduced blood pressure for an overall average of seven hours, while the four short walks lowered blood pressure for 11 hours.

This study couldn’t have been conducted four years ago because prehypertension wasn’t yet an official medical condition. In 2003, officials at the National Heart Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI, a U.S. government agency) announced new guidelines that established the concept of prehypertension: a blood pressure reading that signals the potential of developing high blood pressure.

According to the NHLBI, a blood pressure reading between 120/80 and 139/89 should be considered prehypertension. The threshold for hypertension is 140/90. NHLBI officials estimate that as many as 45 million Americans may have prehypertension.

For more information about prehypertension, see the e-Alert “Lowering the High Bar” (5/19/03), which you can find at this link:



“Walk Often for Lower Blood Pressure” Ivanhoe Newswire, 9/11/06, ivanhoe.com