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Lifestyle: The practical stuff
Q. Am I able to take up physical activity (exercise) to lower my blood pressure?
A. For most people, it is quite safe to start moderate physical activity (or exercise) to lower your blood pressure. Moderate physical activity is described as an activity that allows you to just maintain a conversation while you're doing it and leaves you feeling warm and slightly out of breath at the end. Examples of this type of activity are brisk walking, dancing and cycling.
However, if your blood pressure is particularly high, you do need to be careful and should ask your doctor first.
As a rule of thumb, if your blood pressure is:
- 180/100mmHg or more you should not be doing vigorous physical activity until your blood pressure has been lowered and controlled with drug treatment
- less than 180/100mmHg - you are likely to be able to start vigorous physical activity, but it is worth talking to your GP before you start, particularly if you have any other medical conditions.
For more about physical activity (or exercise) and high blood pressure, please see the Physical activity page on our main web site.