People who continue to exercise throughout their lifetimes are far less likely to develop high blood pressure and the more they exercise, the less likely they are to develop high blood pressure (Journal of Hypertension, June 2008). In various studies, up to 91 percent of the North American population suffers from high blood pressure which puts them at markedly increased risk for strokes, heart attacks, kidney damage and arteriosclerosis. Virtually all scientists agree that this frightening incidence of high blood pressure is caused by lifestyle, and the major lifestyle factors are lack of exercise, obesity, and eating too many calories, refined carbohydrates and saturated fats.
For some people, but not all, increased intake of salt also contributes to high blood pressure. However, if you exercise, you need to take in extra salt since salt is the only mineral that you lose in large amounts through sweating. Low salt levels can cause muscle damage, fatigue and depression. Salt deficiency can also raise high blood pressure because it causes your kidneys to produce large amounts of renin and your adrenal glands to make more aldosterone. These hormones constrict arteries to raise blood pressure.