Cycling with hypertension

For patients with hypertension regular cycling is recommendable.

Cycling is ideal for endurance training; it strengthens the cardiovascular system, metabolism and the immune system. In addition, leg and back muscles are strengthened and the joints are not stressed too much.
Blood pressure initially increases during the training, however in the longer term it drops to a lower level. Through regular cycling, the heart muscle is trained and better supplied with blood. This increase in performance prevents cardiovascular diseases.
Cycling also has a positive effect on the activity of the veins. By stepping on the pedals the leg muscles move up, the veins are compressed and blood is pumped to the heart. The risk of venous disorders falls through the active support of the veins. An upright posture is crucial for the blood circulation to work.

The cycle and equipment

  • Correct sitting position: The saddle height has to be high enough so that when riding, the legs do not have to be fully pushed through
  • To prevent back pain, the sitting position should be comfortable and upright (slope of upper body 10° to 20°)
  • The head should always be protected with a helmet
  • Choose comfortable, breathable clothing
  • Protect the eyes from insects and watery eyes using cycling glasses or sunglasses
  • In order not to slip from the pedals, choose shoes with a good grip
  • Make sure that your cycle is roadworthy!
  • Look for roads and cycle paths with low traffic volumes

What is important when cycling?

  • At least 3 half-hour training units are necessary per week, however a basic rule applies: Only increase the intensity of the training slowly!
  • The ideal cadence lies between 80 -100 revolutions of the pedal per minute. This high cadence is easy on the joints, tendons and muscles. In addition, this increases the physical fitness.
  • It is important to always pedal at the same rate, and the ball of the foot should be placed on the pedal. The circular movement of the pedales should be actively accompanied whereby the pedal should not only be pressed downwards powerfully, but also actively raised again with the leg and foot.
  • At the start of training, take a few minutes to adjust yourself incrementally to your personal speed. Then you can improve the endurance performance. At the end of the training unit, the pace should be gradually reduced. In order to avoid tension and the shortening of muscles and tendons, it is advisable to stretch after the training.

Hypertension and sports