Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, affects more than one-third of Australians, over the age of 18. It is a key risk factor for heart attack and stroke, which comprises as one of the major causes of death in Australia. Globally, high blood pressure constitutes as an extensive health importance.

What is high blood pressure?

As our blood gets pumped by the heart around the body, the pressure with which it pushes against the walls of the blood vessels changes. When the heart is squeezing blood into the arteries (systolic), the pressure is high. When the heart is relaxed (diastolic), the pressure is lower. Your blood pressure is important because if it is too high, it affects the blood flow to the rest of your organs. In time, when left untreated, this increases your chance of developing further heart disease, kidney failure, eye disease, and other conditions.

How can exercise help?

Exercise, or any form of regular physical activity, can help your heart become stronger. A stronger heart pumps more blood with less effort. When the heart works less to pump the blood, the force on your arteries decreases, thus lowering your blood pressure. Your risk of high blood pressure increases with age, so finding the right exercise for you now can make a world of difference in your cardiovascular health in the future. Becoming more active helps to maintain your blood pressure, but you need to keep exercising on a regular basis to do so. These benefits last only as long as you continue to exercise. If you have high blood pressure, always check with your doctor first, before starting any fitness regimes. Also, if you take any regular medications for blood pressure, always ask your doctor first if exercising will make it work differently or if it will affect the way your body reacts to exercise.


If you are looking for ideas or classes that will improve your cardiovascular fitness (or health in general), the friendly exercise physiologists at Absolute Balance our happy to help. Visit our Como Clinic at 1 Preston Street, Como or email info@absolutebalance.com.au.

Norlina Yakin

Exercise Consultant/Personal Trainer