Blood Pressure and Exercise Guidelines

Blood PressureMore than 75 million people have high blood pressure. Your blood pressure changes from day to day and even from moment to moment. It can be affected by stress, diet, exercise, hydration and medication.  High blood pressure is also known as the “silent killer” because your body gives no warning signs that you have this condition.

Blood pressure is the force of the flowing blood against the walls of the arteries. It is measured at two phases of the health’s action. One is when the heart is contracting, this is called “systolic pressure.” The other is when the heart is relaxing between beats, this is called “diastolic pressure.”

 

The Lowdown on Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is measured in two numbers; for example, ‘140/90.’ The first number (140) is systolic pressure, the pressure when the heart contracts and pumps the blood through the body. The lower number (90) is diastolic pressure, the pressure between pumps, when the heart is resting 120/80 is considered normal. You may have high blood pressure (hypertension) if your blood pressure reading is equal to or greater than 140/90 for extended periods of time. Elevated blood pressure means your heart is working harder than normal, putting both your heart and arteries under a greater strain.

Only your doctor is qualified to diagnose whether you have high blood pressure or not

Keeping High Blood Pressure Under Control

If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, it’s extremely important that you follow your doctor’s treatment guidelines to the letter. These guidelines may include keeping your diet low in fat, reducing your salt intake, quitting smoking, and limiting your alcohol consumption. In addition, you should exercise regularly, keep your weight within normal bounds, and learn to manage stress (instead of letting it manage you). Some recent research suggests that constant stress and pressure may predispose some men to continually elevated blood pressure later in life.

Checklist for high blood pressure control

Only your doctor can diagnose if you have high blood pressure

Have your blood pressure checked regularly. Your primary care physician can tell you how often

Stop smoking

Avoid excessive salt intake

Eat more fresh fruits, vegetables, and foods high in fiber…and less fat

Reduce stress on and off the job; master relaxation techniques

Be moderate in your drinking

Exercise regularly and keep your body weight within normal limits

If your doctor prescribes medication to lower your blood pressure, be sure to follow their directions exactly

 

Blood PressureHigh Blood Pressure = 140/90 (or greater)

Take blood pressure before, during and after exercise

Do not exercise if you forgot to take your medication

Avoid holding your breath

Avoid isometric exercises, arms above head, decline positions

Frequency of exercise instead of intensity of exercise

If you feel light headed or dizzy, stop exercising immediately and sit down

Fun workoutHelp reduce weight

Improve cardiovascular fitness

Reduce blood pressure readings

Make it fun! You will adhere to your program if you enjoy it

Warming UpSlow gradual warm up with very little resistance to start

Increase cadence over pounds lifted or exercise intensity

Make sure you are well hydrated before starting your workout for the day

LungesDo 30 minutes of aerobic activity 5 times a week

Strength training 2 times a week (circuit mode)

15-20 repetitions per set

Flexibility 3 times a week

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