Exercise And Blood Pressure - Exercise and Hypertension

Covering exercise and blood pressure reduction, readings, medication, heart rate and aerobic and anaerobic exercise



To many people there is an incorrect perception that a person with high blood pressure should never become active through exercise. This point of view is partially correct and will be qualified further down in this article. Regular exercise may indeed lead to dangerously high blood pressure levels in hypertensive individuals.

Physical activity will result in increased blood pressure for a short period of time before it returns to normal levels when the physical activity ends. Regular physical activity is of paramount importance to the health of your heart, lungs and blood vessels. The mechanism through which physical activity lowers your blood pressure is when it causes blood vessels to be more flexible and efficient.

Exercise and blood pressure is beneficial especially when it results in the loss of excess weight which is known to put a strain on your heart which in turn causes a raise in blood pressure. Exercising to reduce blood pressure does not necessarily mean becoming a member of your local gym.

Aerobic exercise and blood pressure

exercise and blood pressurePeople with high blood pressure are recommended to focus on physical activities which benefit their heart and blood vessels. This is because different kinds of exercise have different results on the body and on your blood pressure both systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure.

Doctors and hypertension specialists agree that aerobic exercise is beneficial to the heart most as it is repetitive and rhythmic. Aerobic activity targets large muscle groups such as leg, shoulder and arm muscles. The following is a list of aerobic activity that one can choose to do;

  • Brisk walking
  • Jogging
  • Swimming
  • Bicycling
  • Aerobic dancing
  • Racket sports
  • Rowing
  • Treadmill
  • Racking leaves
  • Mowing the lawn

Other people prefer to use this aerobic exercise equipment which is rather ideal for confined spaces when you are unable to jog or walk. How its actually done really doesn't matter. The trick is to ensure it's not heavy and possibly taxing to your heart if you already have hypertension.

Heavy exercise and blood pressure

exercise and blood pressureThere are other many forms of activity most of which are less helpful and even harmful to high blood pressure patients. These would include intensive activity for short periods of time such as sprinting or weightlifting. These activities cause blood pressure spikes putting unnecessary strain on your heart and blood vessels for example skydiving, scuba diving and parachuting.

Certain foods also cause blood pressure spikes such as the well researched yet still controversial association between caffeine and blood pressure. This is also the reason why a hypertension diet is important in lowering blood pressure. This type of diet would include foods that lower blood pressure. Anaerobic exercise such as weight lifting and use of machines that offer resistance in not recommended for hypertension patients. Should you need to do heavy exercise there is need to consult your doctor. Heavy exercise puts a strain on your heart which result in complications.

The table below gives some exercise and blood pressure readings as a general guideline of what activities you can do depending on your blood pressure. Home blood pressure monitoring is therefore important in order to keep an eye on your blood pressure readings. (You may learn how to take blood pressure by following the link.)

  • 140/90 - 179/99 => You may safely start increasing your physical activity
  • 180/100 - 199/109 => Consult your physician before becoming active.
  • 200/110 or above => Do not begin any new activity until you consult your doctor

Some individuals find it an uphill task to begin any physical activities. In principle joining your local gym is not necessary and can never be compulsory. It is possible to be active in your day to day life by carefully choosing what you do. The following are some steps to take in your exercise and blood pressure quest;

  • Try as much as possible to walk
  • Take the dog on longer walks
  • Cycle or walk to work
  • Use your lunch hour for walks
  • Take the stairs in place of the elevator

An adult person should have 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times in a week. At the start of your exercise you might find it difficult to keep active for 30 minutes at a time. The approach is to increase your activity by small amounts over a period of time making a difference.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends the following as it pertains to exercise and blood pressure;

  • Ensure the equivalent of at lest 150minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week
  • Get 30 minutes a day of activity on at least 5 days a week
  • Physical activity should be 10 minute episodes throughout the week.
  • Include flexibility and stretching exercises
  • Include muscle strengthening activity at least 2 days each week

Always remember that when in doubt there is absolute need to consult your doctor or medical professional.




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Lower Blood Pressure Through Exercise