Exercise and blood pressure

Patient

Q: My systolic blood pressure reading before I began exercises regularly was 108 now after 3 months of regular physical activity it is 118 , is this a good sign or not ?

Doctor

A:   The current target BP is <140/90mmHg for the general population, therefore you are still within the normal blood pressure range. There are many lifestyle measures that can be modified to lower blood pressure (BP). These include: Weight reduction with a target Body Mass Index of <25; reduced sodium intake <100mmol/day = 2.4g sodium; increased daily physical activity minimum of 30 minutes/day, limit alcohol intake <2 units/day for women and<3 units/d for men; smoking cessation; reduced saturated fat/cholesterol intake, adequate calcium and magnesium dietary intake and adequate intake of dietary potassium approx 90 mmol/d. The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) has been promoted by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

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