Hypertension


Hypertension is the term used for high blood pressure (blood pressure which consistently rises over 140/90).

Systolic pressure is the top number (140), the pressure created by your beating heart.

Diastolic pressure is the bottom number (90), the pressure inside blood vessels when the heart is at rest.

Pre-hypertension is a prerequisite to high blood pressure, classified by a systolic blood pressure between 120-139 and a diastolic blood pressure between 80-89.

Symptoms
  • Confusion
  • Chest pain
  • Ear noise or buzzing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Nosebleed
  • Tiredness
  • Vision changes
If you experience a severe headache or any symptoms listed above, call your doctor immediately.


Impact of exercise
  • Significantly reduces both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
  • Proper diet has an even greater effect on blood pressure.

Exercise specifications
  • Stationary cycling, treadmill walking, and rowing are acceptable forms of aerobic exercise.
  • Exercise 3-7 days/week for 30-60 minutes/session.
  • Exercise at 50-85% max heart rate, or an “easy” to “hard” pace.
  • Resistance train 2-3 days/week with 1-3 sets of 10-20 repetitions.
  • Circuit training is a possible alternative.
  • Quickly raise weight, do not hold steady for more than 1 second.
  • Avoid heavy lifting and be sure not to overgrip or clench fists while training.
  • Perform exercises in a standing or seated position, progressing slowly.

Nutrition & Supplementation
Diet, as well as exercise, has a profound effect on hypertension; it can be the determining factor for surgery.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute provides the DASH eating plan as a means of lowering blood pressure.  


Resources

“High Blood Pressure” on The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute website:  www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Hbp/HBP_WhatIs.html

“High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)” on The National Library of Medicine website:
www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000468.htm

American Society of Hypertension, Inc.:  www.ash-us.org



References

Clark, Micheal A., Lucett, Scott C., and Rodney J. Corn.  2008.  NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training, 3rd ed.  Baltimore, MD, Philadelphia, PA:  Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


“High Blood Pressure (Hypertension).”  The National Library of Medicine.  21 January 2009.  
<http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000468.htm>

Whelton, S.P. Chin, A., Xin, X., and J. He.  2002.  Effect of aerobic exercise on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials.  Ann. Intern. Med.  136:  493-503.

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