Activities you should avoid if you have high blood pressure
Regular physical activity can not only help to support and maintain a healthy weight, but it can also help to reduce stress levels, improve your cardiac health, and help to control high blood pressure. Engaging in 40 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity such as brisk walking or jogging, swimming, cycling or establishing a regular exercise routine that includes aerobic activities three to four times a week can help to reduce hypertension, lower cholesterol levels, and has overall health benefits for your heart, lungs, and circulatory system.
Aerobic exercise helps the heart and blood vessels to become more flexible and to work more efficiently. Although your heart pumps harder as you exercise, blood flows into a large number of your muscles so your BP doesn’t rise very much. Exercise that uses a large number of muscles actually helps to lower your BP over time.
However, there are some activities to avoid when you have high blood pressure. These include any sports or activities that involve vigorous short bursts of high energy such as boxing and isometric exercises such as weight lifting. During weight lifting, there is a sustained contraction of one set of muscles vs.a large number of muscles, causing your heart to beat faster. As a result, unwanted stress and strain is placed on the heart and blood vessels, and a rapid rise in your blood pressure occurs.
Knowing your own limits
Before starting any new exercise program, it’s a good idea to consult your physician about developing an exercise regimen that’s appropriate for you. If you have not been very active in the past, you need to gradually build up to the recommended 40 minutes of activity 3 to 4 times per week needed to reduce hypertension. Start slowly and engage in an activity that you enjoy such as walking or cycling.
Knowing your limits and the activities you should avoid if you have high blood pressure can go a long way to making sure that you’re getting the most out of whatever physical activity you choose to do.
Don’t stop exercising
Because exercise does make you heart work harder, you need to be cautious if you’re just starting to exercise with high blood pressure or if your BP is very high. Your doctor will probably prescribe medications to lower your BP if it’s high as well as advising you about an exercise program — what types of exercises are beneficial and avoiding activities that could raise your BP to an unhealthy level.
Therefore, it’s important to be able to track your BP on a daily basis in order to determine how long it takes for blood pressure medication to work. Ivy Health Labs’ easy-to-use wireless wrist and arm blood pressure monitors enable you and your doctor to see improvements to your BP so that you can start being more active.
In addition to diet, medications, and stress management, exercise is another tool that can help to reduce hypertension and the health risks that accompany it.