High blood pressure: The two-minute exercise to lower your reading – Dr Michael Mosley


High blood pressure can often be prevented or reduced by regular exercise – that’s the advice from the NHS. But which exercise is best? On his podcast Just One Thing, Dr Michael Mosley delved into the benefits of doing short intervals of exercise, including two minutes of stair climbing.

She said: “We say to people try to do it in 10 minute bouts.

“But looking at the more recent evidence, it seems to be that almost any length of a bout will count.

“But I guess if you’re trying to be practical about this and you’re trying to get to 30 minutes a day, then I think 10 minutes at a time is probably good to aim for.”

Dr Murphy added: “Don’t worry if you can only do it five minutes at a time, I think every bit adds up.


“The key message here – every single minute counts, so even if you’ve only got a minute, you can still use that wisely, to accumulate towards that 30 minute target.”

And when it comes to the best type of exercise for exercise snacking, Dr Murphy recommended stair climbing.

She explained: “One of my PHD students looked at a bunch of student nurses and got them to climb up flights of steps during the day – only two minutes of stair climbing, but over the course of a day, they didn’t do it all at once.

“Their blood pressure improved, their resting blood pressure improved, their blood lips improved over an eight week period.

Dr Mosley said: “Many of us don’t meet the UK physical activity guidelines and to be fair, finding two and a half hours to exercise each week can be a challenge.

“And during the pandemic it got worse. One study found our step count fell by around 50 percent.

“But the great thing is we don’t have to do it all in big long sessions.

“Little and often might even be better.”

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