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How Can Exercise for Hypertension Help Hypertensive Adults?

How Can Exercise for Hypertension Help Hypertensive Adults?

When a person gets diagnosed with hypertension, they will need to make changes in terms of their lifestyle. And it’s natural to assume that living with high blood pressure doesn’t include physical activity. Hypertensive adults may be hesitant to move and exercise. So they would rather just stay at home knowing that they are already at a high risk of high blood pressure. But exercise for hypertension is a vital part of living with the condition.

Understanding Hypertension

Hypertension, or what people commonly address as high blood pressure, is undeniably one of the most prevalent cardiovascular diseases out there.

A person is said to be suffering from such when they have a blood pressure rating that is consistently higher than 140/90 mmHg. It is most apparent in adults and it is often regarded as a “silent killer” for it does not manifest itself through a specific cluster of signs or symptoms.

When left untreated, this disease is a major medical concern that dramatically raises one’s chances of getting one or more of the following:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Peripheral arterial disease (decreased blood flow usually to the legs and feet)

Some of the usual practices people often hear in order to prevent high blood pressure are as follows:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Avoid smoking and drinking
  • Getting enough sleep

All these are proven ways to build a healthy lifestyle but it misses out on one more thing.

How Can Exercise for Hypertension Be Beneficial?

Building a healthy lifestyle is not complete without some form of physical activity, and this is backed by science.

Physical activity on a regular basis can help as it can cut your chances of developing hypertension by 50%. Moreover, it also reduces the risk of stroke by 27%.

In some circumstances, exercise can also help you cut back on the quantity of blood pressure medications you need to take. Exercise for hypertension is a non-drug approach that could strengthen the heart muscle to be able to maintain cholesterol levels. Thus, it helps to also keep yourself at a healthy weight.

What Type of Exercise for Hypertension Can You Do? For How Long?

Sure, increasing your physical activity can help you lower your systolic (top) and diastolic (bottom) blood pressure values. But what exercise for hypertension can you do and for how long?

According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults should acquire at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week.

Below are some of the aerobic exercises you might want to take into consideration:

  • Active sports (such as basketball or tennis)
  • Brisk Walking
  • Cycling
  • Climbing a staircase
  • Dancing
  • Jogging
  • Swimming

If you also love plants, you may also try getting into gardening. Cutting grass, cleaning the garden, and raking leaves can help you get in the amount of movement need in a day.

The most heart health advantages appear to come from a combination of aerobic and weight (resistance) exercise. But you should get an “OK” signal from your doctor before proceeding with any combination exercise for hypertension you can work around with.

In addition to that, you should discuss with your doctor how to structure a healthy program following the FITT principle.

F = frequency (How often can you exercise?)

I = intensity (How intense/hard can you push yourself?)

T = time (How long can you exercise per day?)

T = type (What type of exercise can you do?)

Other questions that may come up in the discussion may involve your present condition, past health history, and other medications you are taking. Make sure to let him/her know about all these.

Key Takeaways

Exercise for hypertension is just one part of the equation to living a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. You should still incorporate other healthy practices, such as eating a balanced diet, and getting enough and proper sleep.

If you spend a lot of time sitting, try to take 5 to 10-minute intervals every hour to stretch and move about. Many chronic health issues, including high blood pressure, are connected to a sedentary or inactive lifestyle. It may be beneficial to set a reminder on your phone or computer.

Monitor your progress every now and then. It is far more important that you pace yourself and know your limits when you do such exercises.

Learn more about hypertension here.

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Being active when you have heart disease, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000094.htm Accessed October 26, 2021

Exercising with High Blood Pressure – Fact Sheet,  https://www.exerciseismedicine.org/assets/page_documents/EIM%20Rx%20series_Exercising%20with%20High%20Blood%20Pressure_2.pdf Accessed October 26, 2021

Prevent High Blood Pressure, https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/prevent.htm Accessed October 26, 2021

Physical Activity: The Best Prescription for Hypertension, https://www.nchpad.org/817/4203/Physical~Activity~~The~Best~Prescription~for~Hypertension Accessed October 26, 2021

Exercise: A drug-free approach to lowering high blood pressure, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/high-blood-pressure/art-20045206 Accessed October 26, 2021

Safe Exercises for Patients with Heart Disease, https://www.nationaljewish.org/conditions/health-information/living-with-heart-disease/exercise-and-heart-disease Accessed October 26, 2021

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Written by Fiel Tugade Updated Oct 29
Fact Checked by Bianchi Mendoza, R.N.