Research Shows That Exercise Is As Beneficial As Drugs For People Who Have High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure levels can be dangerous. They can lead to heart diseases and stroke, both of which are from the list of the leading causes of death in America. For the treatment of high blood pressure, doctors recommend medication and some lifestyle changes which involve exercise.

That said, a new study shows that exercise is almost as effective as drugs in lowering blood pressure levels in those who have high blood pressure.

What Does This New Study Reveal?

People who have high blood pressure are recommended to take drugs that can lower hypertension. Experts also recommend structured exercise for serving the purpose. This new study which has been published in the British Journal of Sports Medication shows which of the two is more beneficial – structured exercise or drug intake, for lowering blood pressure markers.

The researchers from the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK and Stanford University School of Medicine, California have compared the effects of structured exercise and medications in lowering blood pressure. For this purpose, they studied 194 clinical trails collecting information of 39742 individuals.

Firstly, the effects of all medications for hypertension were compared with all types of exercise. Then, the effects of specific drugs were tested against specific exercises. And finally, the effects of different exercise intensities were compared to the intensities of varying drug dosages. These tests were made using data of healthy participants who had normal blood pressure markers.

Then the same tests were repeated using data of people who had high blood pressure. The results showed that in healthy people, drugs were more effective than structured exercise. However, in the case of those who had high blood pressure levels, exercise and antihypertensive medication were almost equally effective.

Exercise And Cardiovascular Health

Exercise helps the health of the heart in many ways. It can lower blood pressure levels and reduce strain on the heart. It also improves blood flow, particularly in small blood vessels which can get blocked with fatty deposits. In this way, it prevents heart attacks. It also lowers cholesterol levels by increasing healthy HDL cholesterol and lowering bad LDL cholesterol.

Physical activity also decreases the risks of stroke and heart diseases as per research. What’s more, exercise also reduces the risk of arrhythmia. It improves workout efficiency as well. Regular cardio workouts can serve as great warmup and cool down sessions. Exercise also strengthens muscles and the heart is a muscle. What’s more, it also maintains weight, gaining which can lead to heart problems.


Exercise comes with several benefits for the body. It also offers many advantages to the heart. It improves cholesterol levels and staves off the risks of developing heart diseases, stroke and heart attack. A new study shows that exercise is almost as beneficial in lowering blood pressure levels in people who have high blood pressure as antihypertensive drugs.