A foundation of fitness..... your blood pressure
Updated: May 9, 2022
One thing that constantly gets overlooked by fitness enthusiasts is blood pressure. Not often do many personal trainers talk about blood pressure in articles or blogs. The usual topics are sets, reps, diets, new routines, re-invented exercises that are not actually new...........
Everybody should know their blood pressure before embarking on any exercise programme. It is the most essential and important piece of information that gets overlooked by many. Why do you need to know your blood pressure?
It is an indicator to how healthy your circulatory system is. A blood pressure reading shows whether you fall into the 'averagely healthy range'. It also can indicate low blood pressure and high blood pressure concerns.
Let us take hypertension for example (high blood pressure). Many have this condition and have not known about it, until they experience the damage it can do. Many believe..... "I don't feel dizzy or have any headaches? So, I am okay".
High blood pressure, more often than not doesn't show any symptoms at all, and it is unlikely you would be dizzy or have any headaches. Hypertension is a silent killer and if unchecked, the damage it causes is widespread and serious. Damage to kidneys, heart and eyes for starters are possible.
A textbook blood pressure reading is 120/80 mm Hg. (Millimetres of mercury). The higher number is the pressure in the arteries when your heart beats, and the lower number is the pressure in your arteries when the heart relaxes between beats.
These numbers are a guide. Activity, food and drink consumption will vary a reading, so it is important to think about when you take your blood pressure.
The first thing I do before your first personal training session, whether at your home or outdoors is take your blood pressure. This gives me a guide as to your health and also your resting heart rate which is a good indicator of your cardiovascular health.
If I program in the exercise referral context with a client who has hypertension..... then certain exercises with isometric positions would be avoided, as these type of exercises cause blood pressure to soar.
So what ways can hypertension be managed? Physical activity for sure. The more physically active you are, the more likely your lungs are more efficient in utilising oxygen. This lowers blood pressure. Relaxation periods and medication prescribed by your doctor are also ways that high blood pressure can be managed.