Results from a new study should be of no surprise for those who are familiar with the benefits of exercise: It found that exercise, combined with a low-calorie diet, is very effective for reducing blood pressure in overweight people. The study was reported at the American Heart Association’s 55th Annual Fall Conference of the Council for High Blood Pressure Research.
Participants included 60 overweight Japanese men, with an average age of 37, who had high blood pressure. The men were divided into three groups: diet alone, exercise alone or diet plus exercise. The diet group ate 1,200 calories per day; exercisers performed more than one hour of aerobic exercise per day; and the third group did both. At the end of 12 weeks, blood pressure fell significantly for all groups, but benefits were the greatest in the men who were in the combination diet/exercise group. In addition, one-third of the men in the diet/exercise group brought their blood pressure into the normal range without medication, which is something that neither of the other two groups achieved.
Says study lead researcher Kazuko Masuo, “This study shows that exercise plus diet is best for reducing both blood pressure and weight. In addition, exercise alone is better than diet alone.”
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Tags: blood pressure, exercise, study