Hypertension is when blood pressure is greater than or equal to 140 mmHg in Systolic Blood Pressure (top number) and greater than or equal to 90 mmHg (bottom number). Normal blood pressure is 120 SBP over 80 DBP. This is a very prominent disease in the USA, according to the American College of Sports medicine; about 65 million Americans have this disease. Many Americans have hypertension, but many do not know because hypertension does not show symptoms, which is why hypertension is also known as the “Silent Killer.” A person with hypertension doubles their risk of cardiovascular disease; they can have a stroke, heart failure, chronic kidney disease, and other complications.
The good news: you can head hypertension off at the pass. How? Regular exercise and weight loss are paramount in the lowering of blood pressure. Daily physical activity strengthens your heart so it can pump the blood flows through easier. In your fitness plan, it is aerobic activity that will get your heart pumping and help to lower blood pressure. Aerobic activities include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, playing sports and even household chores! This is a drug-free approach to controlling your blood pressure and will help you feel better overall. If you have or think you have hypertension, consult your doctor before exercise.Written by Derek Tancredi, Personal Trainer