Exercise is recommended for just about everyone, and if you suffer from high blood pressure it is no different. Exercising and maintaining a healthy lifestyle overall can, in fact, help you reduce your high blood pressure and prevent heart disease and other common ailments associated with high blood pressure. However, there are a few special considerations to remember when you are exercising if you have high blood pressure and, as always, check with your doctor before starting any new exercising program or routine.
Before you begin a new exercising program, check your blood pressure at a doctor’s office or hospital regularly. If your numbers are consistently 180/110 mm Hg or higher, you should take steps to reduce this to a more normal level before doing any kind of intense exercise or training. The same is true if your blood pressure is moderately high but you suffer from other conditions, such as diabetes or breathing problems. However, even at this point, you can begin an exercise program by simply doing less-intense motor activities such as walking. Once you have your blood pressure more under control, your goal should be about 30 minutes of physical activity for five days out of the week. This means that you should break a sweat and be slightly out of breath, but there is no need to overdo it.
There are, however, certain activities that people with high blood pressure should avoid in order to reduce the risk of worsening the condition. Lifting weights is the most popular example. Because this is very stressful on the heart, if you have high blood pressure, weight training is discouraged. Highly intensive cardiovascular workouts are also not good for people with high blood pressure, as blood pressure levels rise significantly after very difficult physical strains on your body, and these higher levels could be very dangerous in someone who already has high blood pressure. A good rule of thumb is to simply know your own body. Push yourself in your training, but don’t overdo it.
Yoga and other Eastern slow-movement exercise routines are especially useful for people with high blood pressure, as they tend to work the body in a more heart-friendly way. Warm up and cool down for these, as well as any exercise program is very important. While you may primarily think of warm up and cool down times as preventative measures you take to avoid cramps and injuries, remember that the heart is a muscle too. By warming up and cooling down, you slowly raise and lower your blood pressure, rather than causing dangerous spikes.
There is almost no one in the world who cannot benefit from moderate exercise. If you get little or no exercise currently, speak to you doctor about finding a routine that is right for you. Over time, exercise cannot only help you lower your weight and cholesterol, but also your blood pressure. Exercise promotes a healthy lifestyle in general, and so by choosing a program that fits your needs you can live longer and be more healthy than you have ever been before.
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