As we consider Exercise Right Week this 22 – 28 May, Exercise Right is urging all Australians to take some time out to think about their own heart health, and highlight the importance of diagnosing and treating high blood pressure.
Data from the Australian Health Survey 2011/12 indicates that 32% of Australians over 18 were diagnosed with high blood pressure. Results from Exercise Right's 2016 Exercise Right Week survey show that many Australians diagnosed with high blood pressure are unaware that it is in fact considered a chronic condition, which may be one explanation as to why more than two thirds of those diagnosed, aren't taking steps to manage this.
High blood pressure itself often has no symptoms, which is often the reason why it may be left untreated.
'It's extremely important to get your blood pressure checked regularly by your GP, as left untreated it can lead to more severe, even fatal, conditions such as a heart attack or a stroke" explains Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Carly Ryan.
'If blood pressure is persistently high, it will be medically diagnosed as hypertension, and it needs to be controlled."
If diagnosed with hypertension, medicinal interventions will likely be prescribed, but it is important to acknowledge that your blood pressure may also be strongly influenced by non-medicinal lifestyle interventions, such as diet, alcohol intake, weight, and exercise.
'Regular exercise increases the delivery of blood to the heart, enabling it to maintain a normal heart rhythm. Exercising regularly can not only prove effective in preventing cardiovascular conditions, it can help treat and alleviate symptoms and reduce the likeliness of other heart conditions developing, such as Chronic Heart Failure or Coronary Heart Disease," says Ms. Ryan.
Things to note:
Consult the advice of an exercise professional such as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist prior to starting an exercise program when diagnosed with high blood pressure or any heart condition to find out how to exercise right for your diagnosis.
Consider the side effects medication may have on you exercising e.g. some medications may cause dizziness.
Take necessary breaks when exercising; listen to your body and don't push yourself too hard!