High Blood Pressure?
If you have high blood pressure it is crucial you control it to avoid being one of the 62,000 unnecessary deaths per year from poor blood pressure control in the UK.
Here are some steps you can take to decrease your blood pressure:
1) Increase the amount of aerobic exercise you do e.g. brisk walking, jogging and cycling. Exercising for 30 to 60 minutes three to five times per week reduces systolic and siastolic blood pressure by 2 to 3mmHg on average (Duncan et al, 1985) and (Blumenthal, Siegel and Appelbaum, 1991).
2) Follow a lower calorie diet if you are overweight. Healthy diets that are lower in calories tend to have a modest effect on blood pressure reduction in overweight people with high blood pressure, averaging 5 to 6 mmHg in trials (Jalkanen, 1991).
3) Reduce alcohol consumption. Over 21 units per week for men and 14 for women is associated with raised blood pressure (Hart, 1999). However, it appears that moderate alcohol consumption has little effect on blood pressure.
4) Reduce your caffeine intake. Caffiene can increase blood pressure by 5-15mmHg systolic and 5-10mmHg diastolic for several hours after consumption (Rosmarin, 1989).
5) Quit or reduce smoking to decrease blood pressure. Peto et al (2000) found a strong link between smoking and cardiovascular disease and pulmonary disease.
6) Decrease the amount of salt in your diet. Consuming less than 6g per day has been shown to decrease blood pressure by 2-3mmHg in those with hypertension, by up to one year. However, reductions in blood pressure do tend to reduce over time (Hooper et al, 2002).
7) Reducing stress has shown to have a significant role in decreasing blood pressure, reducing it by 3-4mmHG (Canino et al, 2000) and (Agras et al, 1987).
The benefits of exercise for people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are numerous and include; reduced joint pain & stiffness, improved mobility & flexibility, reduce deconditioning of the muscles (muscle wastage) and maintained independence.
Here are seven tips for you to bear in mind when exercising to receive the above benefits:
1) Avoid excessive repetition of the same joint actions e.g. prolonged one legged stances or stop start activities like field sports.
2) Avoid over stretching joints, although stretching is great when done properly!
3) Reduce the load immediately when pain or swelling occurs whilst exercising.
4) Wear appropriate footwear to maximise shock absorption during weight bearing activities.
5)Avoid exercises that require you to be in one position for a long period of time e.g. kneeling exercises, or exercises on all fours.
6) Avoid fast direction changes for example those during a shuttle run.
7) Exercise in the late morning or early afternoon as joints should be less stiff.
8) Chair based exercises work well if you are less mobile, or unable to stand for long periods of time.
For sufferers if rheumatoid arthritis you should never exercise during flare up phases as this can cause further damage to the structure of your joints. During remission phases you are best to spend your time strengthening the muscles around the joints through full range of movement.
If you suffer from medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, COPD, asthma etc. I am working on building a GP referral scheme so you can train with someone who has good knowledge of your medical requirements during exercise, please contact me for more details.
Laura Ciotte is a personal trainer and tutor/assessor for trainee personal trainers. She is based in Worthing, West Sussex and likes travelling, motorbikes and good food.
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