In 2017-18, one in every 10 Australians reporting having high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Hypertension is an increase in forces in the artery walls. Genetic and lifestyle factors can influence the risk of diagnosis.
You cannot change who you are, but these can increase your risk of high blood pressure:
- A family history
- Age. Because as we age, our blood vessels (like our skin) lose some of their elastic properties.
- Gender. Females are less likely (below the age of 64)
- Race. Australian Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander populations with African Americans are at increased risk in comparison to Cauc
- Being diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease
Some things that we can influence include:
- Undertaking weekly physical activity, meeting the guidelines for your age and health factors
- Dietary choices
- Increased fat mass, having a BMI >25
- Increased alcohol intake
- You have a diagnosis of sleep apnoea, high cholesterol, or diabetes. If you are on medication, this is still a factor.
- Tobacco smoking
- Stress, here, we are talking about long-term, excessive stressors. Financial, emotional, even the stressors you put the body through poor nutrition and lack of daily movement impact.
We know exercise is a great way to manage hypertension. Unfortunately, this does not happen overnight but with lifestyle change.
However, if you are exercising and subsequently reduce body fat, improving your glucose (diabetes) levels along with cholesterols, finding exercise as a way to manage stressors, and improved eating habits, you are absolutely on your way to a healthier self!
They all do come in one big box of self-love, together.
Okay, so how much exercise and what type?
Seeing an exercise physiologist is the best thing to do. They can assess your lifestyle and consider a range of independent factors and give you guidance that will work.
But, for those still reading. Ultimately, we are after
30 minutes on five days of the week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise plus two days of resistance exercise
30-minutes on three days of the week of vigorous exercise plus two days of resistance exercise.
What is “moderate-intensity”?
A rating of 12-13 on a Borg RPE scale, this might be through walking, cycling, swimming, or dancing.
What is “vigorous-intensity”?
A rating of 14-16 on a Borg RPE scale, this might be through HIIT, running, competitive sport, or boxing.
Now, break down the resistance exercise sessions
Completed on non-consecutive days of the week, of 8-10 strength exercises focusing on large muscle groups and movements.
Starting an exercise program after being recently diagnosed can be easily monitored by a professional if this is something of concern by you or your general practitioner. Find a local AEP to help you kick off your journey to a healthier self.