Fitness and blood pressure

New studies show that exercising, even if moderate, helps keep blood pressure at bay. In this case, in particular, it would allow people who have a family predisposition to develop hypertension to reduce the risk of developing it.

Recently, Víctor’s father died due to a heart problem that occurred because he had high blood pressure . For that reason, although his blood pressure is normal, Victor is a little worried because he knows that he is a little overweight and that he has a higher risk of developing hypertension , due to a hereditary problem.

It is natural that Victor’s concern appears after such a sad moment and that he begins to make comparisons between his lifestyle and that of his father. The fact of having a father or a mother who has suffered from high blood pressure (added to his extra kilos) makes him a person more likely to be hypertensive. For example, there are researches in this regard that estimate that having a parent with high pressure can increase the chances of developing this condition, between 35 and 65 percent.

The good thing in this case is that Victor came to the office when there are still no signs of the disease and can begin to change his habits to decrease the chances that his blood pressure becomes a chronic health problem immediately.

As with other conditions, such as diabetes and cancer, eating a healthy diet accompanied by exercise is the best and most natural way to stay healthy.

And if your situation is similar to Victor’s, the first suggestion is to decrease the salt of your diet as much as possible. This includes sodium, which is usually present in many products prepared for daily consumption, such as broths and preserves (check labels carefully before choosing and remember that the recommended sodium or salt intake for a healthy adult should not exceed 2,300 mg daily (equivalent to one teaspoon of salt per day), although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently suggested that maybe we should decrease this amount to 1,500 mg per day, which is even less).

In addition, it is very important that you exercise regularly. This will not only help you lose weight and keep your circulatory system healthier, which includes your heart, but also help your blood pressure stay within the ranges considered normal.

Even, it is not necessary that it be an intense sport. A recent study has shown that moderate exercise every week, can decrease up to 34 percent the chances of developing high blood pressure, in people who have a family predisposition to develop it (as is the case of Victor).

Specifically, according to researchers from the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina, in Columbia, in the United States, 150 minutes of weekly walking (a little over two hours in total) are enough to make a difference.

To arrive at these data, which were published in the specialized Hypertension , the scientists evaluated more than 6,000 adults, of whom a third had a family history of hypertension, either the mother or the father, and followed up on his physical activities for about five years.

They found that people who exercised a lot were 42 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure and those who exercised moderately had a 26 percent lower risk of developing hypertension, compared to those who did little or no physical activity.

Among people who had a parent with high blood pressure, those who were in good physical condition had only 16 percent more chances of developing hypertension, compared to those who exercised but had no family history of the disease.

Conversely, those with a family history of high blood pressure and who did not practice physical activities or did so at a very low level had 70 percent more chances of developing hypertension, compared to those who did sports and had no family history.

And you, are you practicing your exercise routine? Remember that even if you have already found high blood pressure you can practice some kind of physical activity , taking certain care (for example, it has been shown that swimming helps in these situations ).

Therefore, be that as it may, if you want to stay healthy and your blood pressure does not exceed the recommended limits, remember to put your body in motion, whether it is a light or intense exercise .