There are a lot of people who suffer from hypertension. I am hypertensive myself and I currently have maintenance medicines to control my blood pressure. My doctor told me that I have essential hypertension which means that the high blood pressure can be caused by different external factors but no direct and specific identifiable cause. My high blood pressure is due to the high cholesterol levels that I had when I was severely obese so my goal was to lose weight and bring down my cholesterol to normal levels.
In order to achieve that goal, I have to undergo a weight loss program which should help me lose weight and with the diet plan along with the exercise, I eat the right foods that are usually low or without cholesterol. However, whenever you perform any physical exercise, even if it is just a low impact exercise, it increases your blood pressure. As a hypertensive person, I can’t afford to reach high blood pressures since it could lead to a much severe condition such as stroke or a heart attack. It is imperative that you take extra precautions if you have such a condition. Let me share some of the things that I do that my doctors advised me.
First, you should always have a blood pressure monitor ready. It’s a lot better if you have exercise equipments that have monitors integrated into them such as treadmills and stationary bicycles. In relation to your blood pressure, you should also maintain a safe heart rate while working out. Based on my own experience, if I do low impact exercises, my heart rate is usually at around 120 beats per minute and my blood pressure goes up to around 130/90 or so. But when I do high impact exercises such as jumping and running, my heart rate can go higher than 150 beats per minute and my blood pressure shoots up to 150/110 or even higher. My doctor told me that if my heart rate goes up to 170, I should rest. If it doesn’t go down even after resting or if continues to go higher, it is advised to go to a hospital immediately.
Before undergoing a workout or exercise program, you should consult your doctor first. He or she will be able to tell you what types of exercises you can do depending on your condition and its severity. The doctor may also advise you of a blood pressure limit wherein if you reach that level, you should slow down then take a rest immediately. You may also be asked to undergo a cardiac stress test which will determine your overall fitness level. It can dictate the intensity of exercises you can safely do. Sometimes, if you have hypertension, your blood pressure may become erratic and this test may be able to detect that. You can view more information about Cardiac Stress Test and its relation to weight loss from one of my previous articles.
Important of Cardiac Stress Test in Weight Loss Programs
Next, do not go over your physical limit. If the doctor says that you can only do low impact exercises for the meantime then do so. Do not do high impact exercises as it may alleviate high blood pressure. If you feel pain or any uncomfortable sensation, you should stop exercising. But if you feel that your workout isn’t tough anymore, ask your doctor first if you can step it up a notch.
If you want to lose weight and burn more calories, the best thing to do would be to concentrate on cardio workouts. However, it is more likely that your blood pressure will go up since cardio workouts usually last for at least 15 minutes. If you’re just starting out, I would suggest that if your workout has a low impact alternative then do it first. I tried doing high impact exercises at the onset and it was tough and my blood pressure was so high that I had to stop doing it. In the end, I was not able to maximize the potential results of the workout.
Well, it really depends from person to person as we have different normal blood pressure levels. As for me, my normal blood pressure is at 110/70. I know a lot of people with different normal blood pressures ranging from 100/60 to 160/120. But in any case, if you have hypertension, always be careful while you’re performing your routines. If you have to modify it to make it low impact then do so. Exerting enough effort is helpful but exerting extra and unnecessary effort could hurt you.
Wikipedia – Essential Hypertension
Dr. Ramon A. Reyes M.D., Internal Medicine – Cardiologist
St. Luke’s Medical Center, Philippines
Dr. Johnny T. Shia M.D., Internal Medicine – Cardiologist
St. Luke’s Medical Center, Philippines