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Take Precautions When Exercising With Hypertension

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Hypertension (high blood pressure) cases are flooding the doctors offices. Fortunately, this condition can be improved and even reversed with good nutrition and exercise. Your blood pressure is highest when your heart beats,pumping the blood. This is called systolic pressure (top number). When your heart is at rest or between beats, your blood pressure falls. This is the diastolic pressure (bottom number).

--120/80 or lower is normal blood pressure
--140/90 or higher is high blood pressure (hypertension)

An example of pre-hypertension would be a reading of 130/85. (source: Medline Plus)

As a personal trainer, I must consider a client as hypertensive if the client is taking medication to control high blood pressure.

High blood pressure many times has no symptoms, but it can cause serious problems such as stroke, heart failure, heart attack and kidney failure. You can control high blood pressure through exercise, healthy eating and medication if needed. I have seen cases where exercise and healthy eating made medication unnecessary after a period of time.

If you have hypertension, you can follow a pretty regular exercise routine. But, you do need to take some precautions:

1) Do your resistance exercises in a seated or standing position to avoid dizziness.

2) Breathe during exercises. This seems like a no-brainer, but I constantly remind clients to breathe properly.

3) If you are feeling light-headed, before a workout, it is safest to check your blood pressure.

4) Don't over-grip when lifting weights and do not clench your fists while running or exercising.

5) Progress the intensity of your cardio exercise when clearance from your doctor is given.

6) Always pay attention to "your heart-rate response" to certain exercises. Every one is unique and there is no one-size-fits-all formula for exercise.

Remember, fitness is a lifestyle choice and should be a permanent commitment for you. Don't rush the results when your health is at stake!

Mark Dilworth, Certified Personal Trainer
Her Fitness Hut http://herfitnesshut.com

Add a Comment3 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

This article fails to answer 'why' to almost every point made.
Why is breathing especially important when working out?
Why should blood pressure be checked in the case of light-headedness?
Why should you clench your fists when running?

March 28, 2010 - 2:24am
EmpowHER Guest

I have been able to reduce drastically the dose of medication after four months of a regular regimen of diet and exercise.Salt intake has been reduced to the minimum required amount.I have whole grain bread twice a day,milk once a day,nuts once a day and fruit four times a day.Alongwith this I devote half an hour a day to pranayam,light yogic asanas and meditation also.It seems that I may not need medicine after a couple of months but my doctor says that it is safe to continue with medicine,however small the dose may be,to cope with the vagaries of blood pressure.

Suresh Dogra

March 19, 2009 - 12:27am
(reply to Anonymous)

Suresh...thanks for sharing your story! I have heard this story before...regular exercise and good nutrition does improve high blood pressure and other health problems too! Congratulations and stay with it!

March 19, 2009 - 3:55pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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