Hypertension, perhaps more commonly known as high blood pressure, is a chronic medical state, where the blood pressure in the arteries is elevated. The presence of high blood pressure tends to increase with age but although medication is available in the vast majority of cases, there is a way, perhaps the most natural way of all, that one can use to help reduce and control chronic hypertension. Some may think of it as a dirty word but it is Exercise that can help lower your blood pressure and keep it at a manageable level. What is the relationship between hypertension and exercise?
How Does It Work?
Broadly speaking, exercise will help to make your heart strong and a strong heart will not struggle to pump blood around your body. Less effort used for pumping the blood means the loads – the pressure in other words – on the arteries is reduced thereby lowering the blood pressure. Exercise if planned properly is often found to be more effective than medication in lowering blood pressure and almost as excitingly, a regular regime can keep increased blood pressure at bay in the future. Even if the full required blood pressure reduction cannot be achieved through exercise alone, it will frequently allow a reduction in the dose of regular medication, which of course is always to be preferred.
Exercise – Your Weight – Your Blood Pressure
Weight is of course very important in the control of blood pressure and unlikely to be kept at an acceptable level without the help of some exercise but to realize the benefits, you need to exercise on a regular basis. and at the risk of stating the obvious, only regular ongoing exercise will enable you to continue enjoying these benefits in the future.
What Type of Exercises?
Aerobic exercises, commonly called “Aerobics”, are said to be the most helpful exercises when it comes to exercising your heart. as they provide most exercise for your heart compared to other options and usually with least risk. There are many different types of exercise for reducing and controlling blood pressure and weight lifting is a good example. Although there is an initial increase in blood pressure during a weight lifting session, the overall effect is to reduce and control blood pressure. Amongst other good cardiac control exercises, you could also engage in.cycling, climbing stairs, walking, swimming and jogging. The good news is that these are all exercises where you can control the pace and are, therefore, relatively undemanding Some of them even lend themselves to your being able to listen to your iPods or watch TV, making the task even more acceptable!
Specific groups of individuals who are higher risk must check in with their doctors prior to exercising. These are smokers, obese individuals, those over the age of 40, as well as those that have suffered heart attacks or have been diagnosed with other cardiac issues. It is also sensible to consult your doctor if you are on any medication to check whether exercise will affect its efficacy or possibly produce unwanted side effects.
Always perform stretches prior to commencing your exercise session as this will help avoid pulling muscles or straining yourself and make sure you start your exercise slowly with a gentle warm up for a few minutes. If you feel faint, experience shortness of breath, excessive fatigue, chest pains or dizziness during your exercises, then stop immediately. If this were to happen, it would be sensible to return to your physician to discuss what took place
Don’t Get Dehydrated!
It is essential that you remember to drink plenty of water. You will be perspiring a lot and the fluid must be replaced.
It is advisable to check your blood pressure prior to starting your exercise session and write down the reading. We recommend that you take a further BP reading at the end of your session when you will normally find your pressure is lower than at the start. We have dealt with acceptable blood pressure levels in other articles.
Home Blood Pressure Monitors
Home blood pressure monitors are readily available these days and for affordable prices, the main price variations being attributable to additional features rather than inferior or superior accuracy. An automatic digital blood pressure monitor is an ideal choice but at least one retailer we know will give you a free basic monitor if you buy one of their other products!
White Coat Syndrome
A point-of-interest as an aside for a moment, you may find that when you take your blood pressure at home, you achieve a lower reading than the doctor’s. This is not an indication that you messed up! This may be due to what is called “white coat hypertension”, often called white coat syndrome, which is an occurrence in which patients exhibit raised blood pressure in a clinical setting but not in other situations. It is believed that this is due to the nervousness some people feel during a medical checkup.
If high blood pressure is an issue for you, just about the cheapest and easiest method you will find to bring down and control your blood pressure is exercise.