Hypertension affects about 1 in 4 Canadian adults, and becomes more common as people age, resulting in many negative health implications. (June 2018) Recent studies are showing that the prevalence is increasing, and that the control rates for those with hypertension remain low. At any level of high blood pressure, the risks of cardiovascular disease are increased. Cardiovascular disease are also related to the presence of other risk factors. Evidence shows that endurance exercise training can reduce the rise in BP that can be expected in individuals with increased risk of developing hypertension. Long term studies show that endurance training can have an average reduction of 5 -7mmHg in both systolic and diastolic BP with Stage I or II hypertension.
For hypertension control or overall cardiovascular risk reduction, or both it is recommended that individuals make the following lifestyle modifications:
- weight loss if overweight
- Limit alcohol intake
- Perform aerobic physical activity, such as brisk walking for at least 30 minutes, most days.
- Follow dietary guidelines, increased vegetables, reduced salt, saturated fats, etc.
- Stop smoking
Adapted from ACSM’s Exercise Management for Persons with Chronic Diseases and Disabilities -Human Kinetics