Andries Lodder biokineticist in Fourways
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Hypertension – Here’s how exercise can help you!

Posted on February 15th, 2018 by Andries Lodder


Do you suffer from high blood pressure?

By Xavier Mc Creanor

If you do, your doctor will probably suggest that you increase your activity levels to lower your blood pressure. Your doctor may want to lower it with medicines to start with before commencing you on an exercise program. It is important to remember that you must seek medical advice before you start your gym fitness regime. If you take regular medication, ask whether exercising will make it work differently or change the side-effects. The most common medication prescribed for high blood pressure is beta blockers. Beta blockers helps you to control your high blood pressure, they can make it difficult for you to reach your target heart rate (since their job is to slow it down). Remember, if you don’t reach your target heart rate, you will still be getting important cardiovascular benefits.

Even if your blood pressure is not overly high, increasing the amount you exercise can even keep it under control without medication. Please note that physical activity increases your blood pressure slightly in the short term.  Your blood pressure should return to normal depending on your fitness levels. It is recommended by The American Heart Association that you must get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise, 75 minutes of vigorous or a combination of both each week.

What exercises should you do to lower your blood pressure?

We recommend that you should do a combination of cardiovascular, strength and stretching exercises.

Cardiovascular, or aerobic, exercise can help lower your blood pressure and make your heart stronger.

Examples include walking, jogging, bicycling, rowing, high- or low-impact aerobics, swimming, and water aerobics.

Strength training builds strong muscles that help you burn more calories throughout the day. It’s also good for your joints and bones.

Moreas and fellow researchers (2011) found that weight training improves blood pressure. They found that systolic and diastolic went down after following a 12 weeks weight training program, 16 and 12 mm. The decrease in the participants blood pressure was enough to shift the group average from being stage 1 hypertension (150/93) to pre-hypertension (134/81). 

No overhead exercises are recommended as this will elevate your blood pressure.

Stretching makes you more flexible, helps you move better, and helps prevent injury.

Please feel free to consult with the practice to get you started on a specialized training program to better your blood pressure.

It is important to know when you must stop exercising!

If you feel chest pain, weakness, dizziness, light-headedness, or pressure or pain in your neck, arm, jaw, or shoulder. Seek emergency treatment immediately if these symptoms do not go away quickly.



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