Many of my clients have to seek medical approval before starting work with me. It’s not because I push them so hard, it’s because they have one of a few conditions that requires a health professional’s agreement before exercising. The most serious of this is high or uncontrolled blood pressure.
Very little is known about the actual cause but we have a lot of information on ways to prevent it. Medication, a good diet and regular exercise come high on that list.
Medication is often the first and fastest tool used to manage High Blood pressure and this is necessary because of the risk created by the condition. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the artery walls. High blood pressure is where that force is high enough to cause damage to those artery walls. Such an event might be an aneurysm where the artery walls are thinned and weakened, arrhythmia which is an abnormal heart rhythm or even more serious conditions such as a heart attack, stroke or kidney failure.
It's vital to follow the Doctor’s advice and take the recommended medication when diagnosed with high blood pressure There are few symptoms so when the effects of high blood pressure do become physically apparent to someone it’s usually too late to prevent a serious event from occurring.
Once medication has lowered the blood pressure, further care can be taken by eating a healthy diet. This helps fuel the body and should allow for weight loss. An excess of fat around the internal organs plus the effort of carrying extra weight puts further pressure on the body.
The third great blood pressure management method is exercise. Personal Trainers cannot work with a client who has uncontrolled high blood pressure but once a client has been diagnosed, medicated and stabilised then all the usual fitness and exercise choices are available. If you’ve been told you have high blood pressure your trainer needs to know if it is medicated, how long you have been on your current medication for, how regularly it is checked by the nurse and if your blood pressure is now stable.
Occasionally PT's will add a few modifications but none that a client would notice or care about. They might include prioritising breathing patterns or flowing movements to ensure steady blood flow throughout the session. The majority of people with high blood pressure will go unnoticed in a gym or exercise class and they’ll be perfectly safe to carry on as if they had never been told they have this condition.
You won’t know if you have high blood pressure. But exercise and good living will often prevent it, may reduce it and will certainly delay its effects. Please don’t bury your head in the sand. If you’re concerned, speak to your GP or Nurse and find out the facts. The sooner you do that, the sooner you can be working out with your perfect health plan.