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Lifting heavy weights can help to lower high blood pressure, even though it can cause very high blood pressure when you do it.

The same formulae used for electricity can be used to calculate blood pressure, which is the product of the force of your heart's contraction times the resistance in your arteries. Anything that increase the force of your heart's contractions or the resistence in your arteries raises blood pressure.

When you run or perform any other continuous exercise, your heart beats with greater force, so running raises blood pressure from a normal of 120/80 to perhaps 200 over 70. Lifting weights causes your blood pressure to rise ever higher. For example, a leg press can raise blood pressure to 350 over 200. The exercise strengthens your heart muscle so it beats with more force when you are resting, when the resistance in your arteries is lower, thus lowering your resting blood pressure.

A review of the 18 scientifically acceptable studies shows that weightlifting helps to lower high blood pressure, but check with your doctor and be careful, because it can also cause irregular heart beats while you do it if you have a damaged heart.

GA Kelley, KS Kelley. Progressive resistance exercise and resting blood pressure - A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Hypertension, 2000, Vol 35, Iss 3, pp 838-843 Address Kelley GA, No Illinois Univ, Dept Kinesiol & Phys Educ, Meta Analyt Res Grp, Anderson Hall, Room 233, De Kalb,IL 60115 USA

Checked 8/31/05

May 28th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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