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An hour of exercise a week cuts hypertension

High blood pressure is becoming more common around the world. It can lead to strokes, heart attacks and kidney failure.//

Many guidelines currently call for anywhere between half an hour and an hour of moderate exercise on most days of the week to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity. Researchers from Japan, tested 207 men and women who had high blood pressure but were otherwise healthy. None exercised regularly.

They divided them into five groups who got a range of exercise from none to two hours and more a week.

The volunteers in the four groups that exercised worked out with a trainer at a health club for eight weeks.

Those in the group that got 60 to 90 minutes of exercise had the greatest drop in blood pressure. Researchers found that the amount of aerobic exercise spread out over a week reduced systolic blood pressure -- the top number on a blood pressure reading -- an average of 12 points and the lower or diastolic reading by 8 points.

"There were no greater reductions in systolic blood pressure with further increases in exercise volume," the researchers said.

Thus researchers say their study should emphasize that their results should not be viewed as a message against encouraging people to exercise more on a daily basis rather it should encourage people who think they cannot exercise enough to improve their health.

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