Yesterday we established that being active and doing some kind of exercise is needed to lower your diastolic systolic blood pressure. We have seen that aerobic and muscle building are the two most efficient exercises to lower blood insulin and that high insulin levels lead to hypertension. Armed with this knowledge, now we need to talk about the precautions you need to take to prevent hurting yourself while exercising.
Here are 5 precautions you need to take if you have high diastolic and systolic blood pressure:
1. Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program. Before embarking on any exercise program to control your diastolic and systolic blood pressure you need to talk to your doctor. Check my article Diabetes and exercise, take a few precautions to get familiar with the tests you need to take to prevent a fatal accident.
2. Start your program slowly. Begin an exercise program only after you have talked to your doctor. If you have severe hypertension such as a diastolic pressure of 100 mm Hg or above or are taking hypertension drugs, begin very slowly.Walk at a pace that allows you to carry on a conversation while walking.If you are taking a beta blocker, this drug will limit your capacity to exercise, so be very careful not to push yourself too much if you are taking this type of medication.
If you lower your intake of sodium and increase your potassium through your diet, your doctor may be able to decrease the level of medication you take, but never stop taking it on your own because it may have fatal consequences.According to Doctor Richard D. Moore, if you havenít been exercising regularly or are overweight, start out by just walking, even if your diastolic pressure is below 100 mm Hg. This will help you strengthen your muscles before you start walking fast or jogging. And donít start jogging until you cover two miles in half hour.
3. Pay attention to the intensity of your exercise. Never get to the point where you make yourself exhausted. This can be dangerous because the systolic blood pressure can rise too much. In addition, there is no need to push yourself so much. Be patient, but constant. Again, a good indication that you are keeping a good level of intensity is whether you can carry on a conversation. If you can, you are going at a pace that will help burn off fat but will not strain your heart more than needed.
4. Pay attention to the duration and frequency of your exercise. Time is important at the beginning. Donít set goals of distance. It is more important to increase the time you spend exercising than it is to achieve a distance goal. If you are walking, aim for 30 minutes as a minimum; 45 to 60 minutes will get you more results. If you are jogging or running, 20 minutes is the minimum and 30 to 45 is better.
To get the optimum effect on your blood pressure, you also may need to exercise more than 90 minutes per week. Health authorities recommend at least three sessions of aerobic exercise (walking, jogging, or dancing) per week, 55 minutes each (165 minutes per week of aerobic exercise can lower your diastolic systolic blood pressure quite significantly.Exercise frequently. It has been established by now that regular exercise is very important. The main point is to exercise at least 3 or 4 times a week. You can walk, jog, or swim, but be constant.
Although my blood pressure is normal, probably because being born and raised in a Mediterranean country I have walked quite a lot through my life, I have found a program, The Natural Blood Pressure Program, which has helped me incorporate a rhythm in my walking and prevent my mind from wandering to places where I prefer not to let it go.
Even when I come back from my outings, sometimes a little tired, I might say, the program still allows me to walk with some grace instead of looking like I went to the war and came back at least three times. The program also includes a relaxation exercise that I have found very useful.
5. Warm up and cool down. If you have high blood pressure is very important that you warm up during the first 10 minutes. When you start exercising, both your systolic and your diastolic blood pressure goes up. Later, however, your body begins to warm up and the tiny blood vessels, arterioles, in your muscles dilate allowing the blood to circulate better.
As a result, your blood pressure begins to drop, placing less strain on your heart. The cool-down is also very important. It allows the blood in the muscles you have been using to get back into your main circulation. At the end of your exercise, slow down for 3 or 5 minutes. To cool down donít lie down right after a run.
I hope these articles on the benefit of exercising to lower your diastolic and systolic blood pressure motivates you to do something about it. Preventing further complications of high blood pressure is very important since the consequences of those complications can be fatal. Lowering your blood pressure can also prevent diabetes type 2, since exercise lowers blood insulin.
If you feel you need extra motivation, get involved with a group, an exercise class, a running club, a friend, but by all means, do something.
To your exercise success!
Emilia Klapp, RD, BS
Your Diabetes Coach