Living With BP Problem

Exercise And Hypertension

Hypertension or blood pressure is slowly but surely taking epidemic proportions. About 50 million Americans have hypertension. Blood pressure reading of 140/90 millimeters of Mercury is considered as a normal blood pressure reading. But, the good thing is that blood pressure is controllable. For further information, read Do Take That Extra Care Of Yourself

Let's first talk about exercise and hypertension meaning 'exercise induced hypertension'. Hypertension mostly occurs among middle-aged and older individuals. If the blood pressure readings show more than 140 mm Hg (known as systolic rate) or more than 90 mm Hg (known as diastolic rate), one is thought to suffer from high blood pressure. Hypertension and exercise are intricately related to each other. The causes of high blood pressure have to be diagnosed first and the readings are to be checked with the help of blood pressure monitors. Blood pressure is indirectly measured with a sphygmomanometer or digital blood pressure cuffs.

Dynamic exercise such as walking, running and cycling produce a different blood pressure response than static or resistance exercise such as in strength training and isometric exercise. The systolic rate rises steadily as exercise intensity increases, while the diastolic rate varies minimally. Consequently, vigorous dynamic exercise can increase a typical systolic rate range to 220 mm Hg. If it becomes greater than 240 mm Hg, then the cardiovascular system may not respond appropriately. In such a case, the exercise should be stopped immediately. The same should be done if the diastolic rate increases 20 mm Hg above resting value or reaches 115 mm Hg.

On the other hand, the second meaning of exercise and hypertension states that exercise helps to lower blood pressure naturally. Regular physical activity has also been shown to be effective in reducing the relative risk of developing hypertension by 19 to 30 percent. Similarly, a low cardio-respiratory fitness in middle age is associated with a 50 percent greater risk of developing hypertension. Exercise works because during conditioning, vessels dilate to increase blood supply. This vasodilation reduces the pressure exerted against the artery walls.

Ideally, hypertensive individuals should exercise five to six times per week depending on their initial fitness level. However, improvement can be achieved with as little as three sessions per week. You can lower blood pressure levels through exercise.