High Blood Pressure – Should I be Concerned?

By 2030, almost half of the adult population will be diagnosed with high blood pressure, a condition associated with all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality. To diagnose this condition, multiple readings need to be taken on separate occasions over the period of a week or more, in a non-emergency situation. Of those in Australia with diagnosed hypertension, over 68% were uncontrolled or untreated, exposing a vast number of people to the effects of cardiovascular disease. Hypertension is a condition which warrants concern when left untreated, however, controlling the aforementioned condition is easier than you might think!

Regular aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 3.2mmHg and 2.7mmHg, respectively. Physical activity recommendations for high blood pressure are in line with the national guidelines and encourage a minimum of 150minutes of aerobic exercise per week. Try breaking this down into a daily format of 3x 10minutes of brisk walking and you’ll barely notice the accumulation. For a larger decrease in blood pressure, a focus on weight reduction of 5-10kgs can result in a decrease of up to 13mmHg for systolic and 7mmHg for diastolic blood pressure! Resistance training is also encouraged for those with high blood pressure, however this should be exercised with caution due to the effects it can have when done at intensities which are too high.

For advice on the frequency, duration, intensity and type of exercises best suited to you as an individual, contact our friendly Accredited Exercise Physiologists at Absolute Balance and get ready to meet a healthier version of you.

Eleisha Laurent (B.Sc. – Exercise Physiology)
Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP, ESSAM)

References

American College of Sports Medicine. (2004). Exercise and Hypertension – Position Stand.

National Heart Foundation of Australia. (2016). Guideline for the Diagnosis and Management of Hypertension in Adults. Melbourne: National Heart Foundation of Australia.