High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
Blood pressure (BP) is the pressure of circulating blood on the large arteries when the heart is at maximal contraction (systole) and relaxation (diastole). It is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg) above the surrounding atmospheric pressure. It is presented as two numbers, systolic BP (the higher) and diastolic (the lower), for example, “120/80”, which represents the pressure of which the heart, kidney’s and arteries are undergoing.
Hypertension is the term used to diagnosed excessively high BP, and is a major risk factor for heart failure, strokes, heart attacks, chronic kidney disease and early death. The higher the BP, the higher the risk of cardiac events. One concerning factor is that hypertension doesn’t necessarily display any symptoms and can therefore often go undiagnosed for quite some time.
Regular physical activity is an ideal treatment to lower BP and to improve cardiac health. Individuals with a resting BP of 180mmHg/110mmHg or higher should postpone their exercise program and seek medical advice. Individuals experiencing chest pain, irregular heart rhythm or abnormal breathlessness when exercising should also seek medical advice and further investigation as this could indicate underlying heart disease.
Here at 4 Life Exercise Physiology, we will work with you to develop a safe aerobic and resistance-based program to improve your blood pressure and cardiovascular health.