5. Exercise more Regular exercise has the same long-term effect as blood-pressure-lowering medication reducing blood pressure on average by 4 over mmHg. It doesn't have to be very strenuous exercise. While blood pressure does rise when you exercise, this is just to increase blood flow to the large muscles of the body. The increased pressure lasts only for as long as it's needed. It's not the same as sustained high blood pressure that needs medical treatment. Don't start a vigorous exercise program while your blood pressure is very high or you have a history or heart disease or stroke. Speak to your GP first in these instances.