J Korean Med Assoc.  2005 Sep;48(9):841-846. 10.5124/jkma.2005.48.9.841.

Exercise Prescription for Hypertensive Patients

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Kyung Hee University College of Medicine and Hospital, Korea. byungskim@naver.com


Behavioral modification is an essential component for the management of hypertension, and exercise is an important element to reduce blood pressure. For hypertensive patients, endurance exercise makes systolic blood pressure higher than in normal persons without a change in diastolic blood pressure. Exercise can reduce blood pressure by decreasing the norepinephrine level, increasing vasorelaxing materials, and improving hyperinsulinemia. Before prescribing exercise for patients with hypertension, exercise stress test should be done for men over 40, women over 50, and those who have 2 or more risk factors of coronary artery diseases (male, diabetes mellitus, hyperlcholesterolemia, family history of coronary artery disease, and smoking). There are 4 components in exercise prescription: aerobic; frequency 3~7 times/week, duration 20~60 minutes; and intensity 50~85% of VO(2max). After 3 or 4 months of well-controlled blood pressure with regular exercise, the antihypertensive drugs can be tapered gradually.


Hypertension; Exercise prescription; Endurance exercise; VO(2max)

MeSH Terms

Antihypertensive Agents
Blood Pressure
Coronary Artery Disease
Diabetes Mellitus
Exercise Test
Risk Factors
Antihypertensive Agents


  • Figure 1


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