Exercising under Pressure

A few exercise tips to keep in mind if you’re living with high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is nothing to mess around with. Let it get out of control and you could be in for a world of hurt. However, if you learn to manage it well, you could find yourself steadily lowering your blood pressure and improving your overall quality of life. How can you make it happen? By adding a little exercise into your daily routine.

However, since your blood pressure can rise a little during exercise, you’ll need to work out the smart way.

Get Help

Before strapping on your tennis shoes and sprinting into the gym, you need to make sure you do it safely. And while you may have wound up with high blood pressure on your own, exercising safely when living with high blood pressure requires a little assistance.

A good place to start looking for help is your primary care physician or another health professional. When meeting with your health pro of choice, find out how much exercise you should go for every day or on a weekly basis, whether you should check your pulse while exercising and what your target heart rate is, how to schedule your blood pressure medication around your routine, and whether there are any exercises you should avoid altogether. Once you’re armed with this knowledge, you’re ready to add the gym to your blood pressure-lowering toolbox.

Slow and Steady

If given the okay from your doctor, you should aim for 30 or 60 minutes of exercise every day of the week you can make it happen. Instead of going full force from day one, start out with a light work out and gradually increase the time and intensity of your routine. This way, your body can slowly adjust to the increased demands you’re placing on it.

Before and after exercising, spend a few minutes warming up and cooling down. As you exercise, work out at a nice even pace. In the event you can’t talk while exercising, take it down a notch. Regardless of what exercise you find yourself performing, you should be able to hold a conversation while working out.

Put the Brakes On

While exercising is a fantastic way to lower your blood pressure, pushing yourself too hard too fast can have grave consequences. The following are a few reasons to put a stop to the day’s routine:

  • sudden dizziness or lightheadedness
  • swelling in any body part
  • extraordinary, unexplainable weight loss
  • pain or pressure in the chest, arm, neck, shoulder, or jaw
  • unexplainable weakness or fatigue

If any of these symptoms affect you, don’t wait for them to grow worse. They could be a sign of a heart attack or other serious condition. Seeking medical attention immediately may mean the difference between life and death.

How’s It Work?

Yes, exercise can help lower your blood pressure. But you may be wondering how it all works. Wonder no longer!

Your blood pressure is a measure of how hard the blood in your body presses against your arteries. By exercising, you strengthen your heart muscle. Ultimately, this allows your heart to pump blood throughout your body with less effort. When your heart does its job with less effort, it puts less pressure on your arteries, instantly lowering your blood pressure.

Now that you know how it works, let exercise work for you. Get to the gym, start exercising, and watch your blood pressure go from the mountaintops to a healthy level that you can maintain for a lifetime.

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