High blood pressure is a significant factor in cardiovascular disease such as stroke or heart attack.

Sport can reduce the risk because, along with a healthy diet and moderate alcohol consumption, non-drug therapy includes vigorous physical activity, according to Sven Fikenzer from the German Highschool of Health Management in Saarbrucken. “Between 30 and 60 minutes of sporting activity a day can be very effective.”

“A medical study here in Germany has shown that a quarter of all Germans between 20- and 30-years-old are affected by high blood pressure. In many cases they are not even aware of this,” says Fikenzer. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, sport endurance can significantly reduce blood pressure levels. Among the best sports are cycling, low impact aerobics, jogging and walking.

If a parent or grandparent has had high blood pressure, your risk of contracting the condition is higher. Fikenzer advises getting your blood pressure checked one or two times a year if this is the case.

If you have high blood pressure and you are receiving the correct drug therapy, there is no need to avoid engaging in sport. However, if you are taking beta blockers you should get a physical performance check-up from a cardiologist or sports doctor.