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Different kinds of exercise and activity have different effects on your body. If you have high blood pressure, you should try to focus on activities that will help your heart and blood vessels. Aerobic activity is the type that helps your heart the most.
Aerobic activities are repetitive and rhythmic movements (exercises), and they use the large muscle groups of your body, such as those in your legs, shoulders and arms. Walking, jogging, swimming, dancing and digging are all aerobic activities.
Other forms of activity are less helpful. For example, you should not do any exercise that is very intensive for short periods of time, such as sprinting or weightlifting. These kinds of activities will quickly raise your blood pressure, and put unwanted strain on your heart and blood vessels.
Activities such as scuba diving or parachuting can be dangerous if your blood pressure is not under control. You will need a medical certificate from your doctor to start or continue doing them.
The table below gives some ideas of exercises and activities that you can do and others you should avoid:
Helpful (and unhelpful) activities for lowering blood pressure
|Good for your blood pressure||Not good for your blood pressure*|
Mowing the lawn
* Talk to your doctor or nurse before starting any of these