Hypertension and sports
Regular sport is very important for patients with hypertension for two reasons. Firstly, exercise helps keep their weight down. Moving around prevents obesity, a major cause of hypertension. Secondly, cardiovascular adaptation improves with regular endurance training, and a reduction in blood pressure occurs in a state of stress and rest.
For this reason, it is important to regularly undertake moderate endurance sports, which primarily put demand on the heart and circulatory system. However, martial arts and athletic sports, which can lead to excessive strain due to blood pressure peaks, are unsuitable.
What should be observed:
- In preparation, a medical examination should take place in order to answer the following questions: Which sport is suited on an individual basis? How high is the individual capacity for exercise (exercise ECG)
- In the case of blood pressure in excess of 200/120 mmHg in a state of rest, sports should be avoided without medical consultation in any event.
- It is the dose that counts. Each week 3-4 training sessions lasting 30-60 minutes should be completed. The training intensity should only be increased slowly.
- During training, the heart rate should be checked using a pulse monitor and a break should be taken as appropriate. (Guidance value: training pulse = 180 - age)
- The training should begin with a warm up and after exercise, should end gradually.
Even those who aren't sports enthusiasts don't have to do without physical activity. There are simple ways to keep moving:
- Stairs instead of the lift
- Cycle instead of taking the bus
- Regular walks
As a basic rule, it can be said that sports and physical activities only become antihypertensive exercise therapy if they are planned, structured, are staged and take place permanently. Under these conditions, it is not only the blood pressure that is lowered, but also a variety of positive effects on the disease pattern, the risk factors and complications result. In addition, hypertensive patients experience improved performance and quality of life.