Wednesday, September 26, 2007


High blood pressure (hypertension) is a health risk that the World health Organization (WHO) and International Society of Hypertension (ISH) claims is the biggest challenge facing public health authorities & medical practitioners world wide. Hypertension is almost always without symptoms (WHO, 2002) and is sometimes described as a silent killer.

Excess body fat is described as the most important or common predisposing factor for hypertension, this thus shows the importance of physical activity or exercise for a person who is hypertensive. Exercise or physical activity consideration for this condition remains a bit complex and should be followed step by step. It is a must to get clearance from a medical practitioner before beginning an exercise program and give a medical clearance report/letter to the fitness professional in order to follow a safe and effective exercise program.

Cardiovascular exercise recommendations
Cardiovascular physical activity is agreed to be the most beneficial form for exercise for hypertension. Activities using large muscle groups in rhythmical fashion in a very low intensity (i.e. 40-60% of VO2 max) appear to lower the blood pressure effectively. Some activities like walking, jogging, cycling and cross training are among the best types of cardiovascular exercises for hypertension.
These cardiovascular exercises can be conducted 3 to 4 times weekly from 20 to 60 minutes duration, but be cautious and keep a gradual progression in the activity, start from 10 minute of activity and gradually add 5 minutes in every two weeks. Also it’s advisable to do a proper and extended warm up and cool down in every exercise session.

Strength/resistance training recommendations
Circuit training is known as the best form of resistance training for hypertension. When choosing exercise for your circuit session, the best would be exercises which use large muscle groups which has multi joint movements in a rhythmical fashion. This indicates that free weights lead over machines for strength training. To name some exercises; squat & calf raise combo, stiff leg dead lift & bent over row combo, dumbbell squats & bicep curl combo are good choices. Use very light weight in every exercise and perform about 15 to 20 reps in each set with 2 circuits as maximum in each session.

Flexibility training recommendations
Flexibility training (stretching) forms a large part of any exercise program. Flexibility training should be at least done 2 to 3 time weekly. In general it is advisable to do flexibility training in every exercise session. For best results hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds and stretch all major muscle groups concentrating more on any tight muscles in the body.

Special attentions
When you are hypertensive there are special points to look at when exercising,
1 - Do not hold breath at any phase of exercise
2 - If you feel that you are getting exhausted, stop immediately
3 - When doing all strength exercise avoid doing any overhead movement like shoulder presses or incline bench presses which may increase the blood pressure.
4 - Avoid performing exercises to failure; maintain a weight which you are comfortable for at least 15 reps.
5 - Now I have to put up a small restriction for the favorite exercises for abdominals, it is not advisable to do incline or decline sit-ups on the bench. Use a level surface to do sit ups, crunches or leg rises.


Бέþþŷ Ïяåm said...

hey, its really informative! i love reading about health and fitness! ...yr blog is kool cox it gives a whole lot of info abt them! good job! keep it up! :) cheers!

dare69 said...

very informative, after reading it had a question in mind, how many hypertense people will be out there exercising without knowing these guidelines. Can be harmful i guess ...

Ann said...

hey mate ...

Yeah the special population! i like to work with them ... feels good.

You rock, keep writing

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