Living With BP Problem

Weight Training and Hypertension – The Right Mix

There are almost 50 million Americans that have blood pressure more than the normal reading of 140/90 mmHg. This makes them very prone to heart attack and stroke. Occurrences of high blood pressure are more among the African American, Mexican-American, and Native American population.

Though there are symptoms of high blood pressure, these symptoms can point to a range of other diseases and are non-conclusive.  The consequences of the disease ranging from heart disease, stroke and kidney failure can be quite serious. As a result it is very important to identify and treat the condition as early as possible.  

Early identification of the disease enables you to alter the risk factors connected with mild hypertension. Such risk factors include losing weight, exercising more and quitting smoking. There is very little you can do about your age, race or genetic predisposition to hypertension. Lifestyle changes are within your control and making such changes you can minimize the chances of hypertension.

Regular physical activity  can efficiently reduce the associated risks of hypertension by quite a significant percentage. But weight training with hypertension?! Well it can be beneficial, provided you are careful.

Low to medium intensity weight training is good for the body as well as for the heart. If you are hypertensive and are weight training, it is important that blood pressure does not rise too high or fall too low, as this will compromise the chances of recovery. Moderate intensity weight training helps you to arrest the increase in high blood pressure by 20 to 30 percent.    

It has been observed that low intensity walking and cycling programs also help to reduce high blood pressure. It is also important for hypertensive individuals to avoid heavy weight and strength training as this can increase the blood pressure substantially.
That is why it is important to have your physician approve of any new exercise program in case you are hypertensive.  Also remember to regularly monitor your blood pressure after you exercise.  Begin your exercise program gradually and increase the intensity in stages.  It is always prudent to remember that a successful exercise program depends on consistency over a period of time.