High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when the force required to pump blood through the arteries is increased. This is caused by a build-up of plaque or weakness in the heart muscles that pump blood through the body. Blood pressure can be reduced through regular exercise. Aerobic exercise like biking builds strength in the heart muscles allowing it to pump more blood with less effort. This in turn decreases the amount of force that is placed on the arteries, lowering blood pressure. The Federal Activity Guidelines recommend at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity on most days of the week for cardiovascular fitness.
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Schedule three bike workouts for the first week allowing a day of rest in between exercise sessions. This will reduce muscle soreness and reduce your chance of injury. Pick a time of day that you feel the most awake. Be aware that exercising too close to bed time can make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
Bike for 15 minutes each session. Maintain a speed that requires moderate effort, causing you to sweat but at a pace that you could carry on a conversation without becoming breathless.
Increase your workouts by five minutes each week until you are able to complete three 30-minutes sessions each week.
Add an additional day to your workout schedule. When you have reached your desired frequency, increase the length or the intensity of your workouts by turning up the tension on your exercise bike. Do not increase both at the same time as this may lead to injury. Vary your workouts by including longer time with less intensity to build endurance and interval training including shorter bursts of high intensity. Take your routine outside and try cycling on the road or mountain biking.
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