Do you have any information on exercise hypertension? I have a client (49 year old female) who exhibits this, and I am not sure how to proceed. We have lowered the resistance and monitor her blood pressure several times during a workout. She is also in contact with her doctor. Any ideas?
First and foremost, you must get clearance from the physician to exercise. Once this is achieved, please follow these guidelines (NOTE: As with all guidelines, please tailor to fit the individuality of the client).
- According to the research, low intensity exercise is more effective than moderate intensity in reducing resting blood pressure and blood pressure responses to stress. Therefore, to ensure the exercise is within the low-intensity range, follow the following acute variables while using total body exercises (sharing loads as opposed to isolating tension in any one given area).
- Contraindicated exercises:
- Any exercise that increases intrathoracic pressure, thereby decreasing blood flow return to the heart.
- This includes any exercise that forces one to hold their breath. By following the acute variables listed and using total body exercises, this shouldn’t be a problem.
- Aerobic conditioning guidelines:
- Goal is to increase VO2 max as well as the ventilatory threshold.
- Intensity levels should begin at 40 to 50 percent VO2 max and progress as the client adapts to 50 to 85 percent.
- Each session should last 15 to 30 minutes in the beginning and eventually work up to 30 to 60 minutes.
By following the physician's guidelines and performing a physical assessment on what movements your client needs, you will be on your way to improving your client's health. Please recommend your client see a qualified nutritionist and re-assess her abilities at least every four weeks to ensure optimal adaptations are taking place. If you need ideas on total body exercises, see the PTN Exercise Library.
Thanks for asking a great question. Good luck.