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Treadmill Walking and Blood Pressure

By Rhonda Alexander, MS, MA, CFT

A low-impact aerobic activity such as walking is a great way to ease into a more active lifestyle, especially if you're seeking ways to improve your health. Walking at a steady pace will also help regulate your blood pressure. When weather conditions prevent you from walking outside, treadmill walking is a worthy alternative that can also alleviate stress, which is a risk factor for high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association.

Get More Out of Your Walk

You'll have to put effort into your treadmill workout if you want to see a significant improvement in your blood pressure. Challenge yourself by varying the speed and the length of time you walk on the treadmill as well as your frequency. Even the slightest incline of 1 percent will increase the number of calories burned on the treadmill. If you are overweight or just beginning to work out, consider intervals -- set your treadmill to intermittently increase the pace and intensity of your workout until you can handle higher intensity walking for a sustained period of time.

Success Comes With Effort

If you're also trying to lose weight, keep in mind that you have to burn 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound. A 175-pound person walking at 3.5 miles per hour on an uphill incline for 1 hour will burn 408 calories on the treadmill. Doing this every day will burn 2,856 calories in a week. If you cut your calorie intake by approximately 150 calories per day, that's 1,050 fewer calories, which will help you lose 1 pound per week.

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