Understanding Blood Pressure
Blood pressure refers to the pressure in the large arteries when the main pumping chamber of the heart, the left ventricle, is at maximal contraction (systole) and relaxation (diastole). Blood pressure is usually presented as two numbers: the higher systolic blood pressure and the lower diastolic blood presure. The two pressures are usually expressed together, for example, ‘120 over 80’.
What is hypertension?
Excessively high blood pressure is called hypertension. Hypertension is described on a graded scale from mild to severe. A blood pressure reading of 180 over 110 mmHg (or higher for either pressure) is classed as severe hypertension (grade 3). The higher the blood pressure, the higher the risk of cardiovascular events. Therefore, doctors prescribe lifestyle changes (for example diet and exercise) and/or medication for people with high blood pressure to reduce the risk.
5 benefits of exercise for hypertension:
- Reduces and manages blood pressure
- Improves cardiovascular health
- Reduce the risk of kidney disease, heart failure, and cardiac diseases
- Improves fitness and function
- Improved ability to do daily tasks
What type of exercise is best to manage my blood pressure?
Aerobic Exercise: The exact amount and type of exercise that is best for blood pressure control is not really known. However, scientific studies support that regular aerobic exercise reduces resting blood pressure and also reduces blood pressure during light exercise and daily activities. Additionally, aerobic exercise protects against developing hypertension in the future. These effects occur in both men and women, with normal or raised blood pressure.
For example – Have you tried the Club Active Sweat group fitness class? This is a simple way to include cardio-based aerobic exercise into your routine. Or have you heard of the Club Active Happy Heart Program? This is a 6-week exercise program facilitated by Club Active Accredited Exercie Physiologists and Dietitians, designed to improve your heart health!
Resistance exercise training: (i.e. weights training) also produces small, but measurable, benefits for blood pressure. It is recommended to perform resistance exercises at a controlled, slow to moderate speed, through the full range of motion and without holding the breath.
For example – Move n Tone is an excellent resistance-based group fitness class, under Club Active exercise physiologist guidance.
How can Club Active accredited exercise physiologists help?
At Club Active, our university-trained exercise physiologists can help develop a structured exercise program, incorporating aerobic and resistance-based components. Whether it be to reduce the likelihood of developing high blood pressure, or you are trying to manage your hypertension; it is important to train specifically for your health needs.
———To learn more about working with an Exercise Physiologist, please contact our friendly team today.