Exercise for High Blood Pressure Patients in Singapore | Workout for patient with hypertension
Definition of High Blood Pressure in Singapore
In Singapore, when an individual has persistent systolic blood pressure of more than 140 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure of more than 90 mmHg, they are diagnosed with high blood pressure. Other than taking high blood pressure medications, lifestyle modifications such as doing workouts to lower high blood pressure can help to normalise blood pressure. Exercising in Singapore doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it can start at home!
What exercises can help to lower high blood pressure?
Following a consistent structured program that combines both resistance training to increase muscle composition with aerobic exercise to improve cardiovascular health has been shown to improve high blood pressure. According to the American Heart Association and research studies, resistance training should be performed at least 2 times per week and aerobic training for at least 150 minutes total per week of moderate-intensity exercise. Aerobic training should be done for a duration of 50 minutes per session and for three times per week. To lower your blood pressure, consistency is key to seeing results as it takes at least a minimum 4-6 weeks before improvement in blood pressure can be seen. Before beginning any new exercise program, it is important to consult with your physician or other healthcare professional to ensure that it is appropriate for your individual circumstances. This is especially so if you have co-existing diseases such as diabetes or heart disease. This article and embedded video are intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice or instruction.
Hypertension workout activities schedule Tips
Plan to follow a high blood pressure exercise program such as the one suggested above for a minimum of 4-6 weeks in order to start reaping the benefits. While there are many variables that may affect training frequency such as work and personal preferences, a consistent schedule that high blood pressure patients can commit to and enjoy is the most effective option.
Aerobic Exercise for Hypertensive Patients
The cardiovascular system in a nutshell consists of your heart and blood vessels. They are responsible for transporting blood and nutrients to every region of your body for daily function. With hypertension, the is increased pressure on these structures can lead to serious health outcomes over time such as heart failure, heart disease, and stroke. Examples of moderate intensity exercise include:
Incorporating daily movement into your routines in addition to an exercise schedule is another excellent way to maintain heart health and avoid the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle. Consider walking or biking to work, taking the stairs, or incorporating more breaks throughout your day. These exercises add up to improve your fitness and health.
Resistance Exercise to Lower your Blood Pressure
The outlined activities below utilize hand weights. Feel free to substitute any of the suggested equipment with alternative exercise equipment if you have them. As always, if you are experiencing any pain or have any pre-existing medical conditions you may have questions about, please consult your medical provider before beginning any exercise program. Plan for about 45 minutes to complete the sequence of exercises below. Make sure to drink plenty of water, and complete a proper warm-up and cool-down in order to reduce the risk of injury. Before starting, remember that consistency is key and that with each completed set, you are working closer to your goal of lowering your blood pressure.
Light activity for 3-5 minutes to slowly increase your heart rate and raise your body temperature. Examples include jumping jacks, light jogging, or gentle stretching.
Total Body Strength
Complete each exercise at a difficulty of about 6/10 (1 being the easiest, 10 being the most difficult). This ensures sufficient resistance to promote muscle growth and reduces the risk of injury. Here are common weight recommendations. Keep in mind that since every person will have varying amounts of strength, try to pick a weight that feels like that 6/10 difficulty for the specified exercise.
- Light: 3-5 lbs (about 1.5 kg)
- Moderate: 5-8 lbs (about 2 kg)
- Heavy: 8-10 lbs and above (about 4 kg)
Perform each exercise for 8-12 repetitions (except for the alternating reverse lunges and hand plank) for a total of 3-4 sets. If you find that you are completing the maximum amount of sets and reps without difficulty, consider increasing the resistance and difficulty of the moment. Similarly, if you are having difficulty completing the minimum, reduce the resistance or apply any of the suggested modifications below.
- Instructions: Lay on your back on a bench with two moderately heavy dumbbells in your hands. Press the weight up towards the ceiling by extending your elbows. Slowly lower the weight until your elbows reach 90 degrees then press the weight up again.
- Modifications: This can be performed from the floor on your back with the knees bent. Reduce the weight as necessary if you are having difficulty maintaining proper form.
- Instructions: Hold a moderate to heavy weight up towards your chest under your chin. Slowly lower your body into a squat keeping your chest up and core tight. Stop and return to the starting position once your hips and knees are about 90 degrees.
- Modifications: Perform from a chair to assist with balance and allow for the use of arms to push up from the seat as needed.
Bilateral Bent Over Row
- Instructions: Stand with two moderate to light to moderate dumbbells in each hand and slowly hinge at the waist until your back is almost parallel with the floor. Keeping the spine straight, row both weights up towards the ceiling by bending your elbows and pulling your shoulder blades together. Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position.
- Modifications: This exercise can be performed with less weight or modified to utilize a resistance band in a standing position if you are having difficulty with the bent-over posture.
Dumbbell Overhead Press
- Instructions: Stand with two moderate to light weights in your hands with the knees slightly bent for stability. Press the weights overhead by extending your elbows and keep your eyes straight ahead. Slowly lower the weights until your elbows are at about 90 degrees then press the weights upwards for the next repetition.
- Modifications: Perform the exercise from a seated position with back support to reduce the difficulty.
Alternating Reverse Lunges
- Instructions: Stand with two moderate to heavy weights in your hands and step backward with one leg. Slowly lower the body down until the front and back knees are at 90-degree angles (don’t let the knee touch the floor) then return to your starting position. Alternate which leg steps back first for a total of 10 repetitions (5 on each side)
- Modifications: Hold onto a countertop or sturdy chair to assist with balance. Reduce the range of motion (don’t lower down as low) if necessary in order to move in a controlled motion.
- Instructions: Start in a plank position with the arms outstretched in front of you about shoulder-width apart and the legs about hip-width apart. Keep the spine straight, your core engaged, and your gaze on the floor in front of you. Hold for a total of 20-30 seconds for 3 rounds.
- Modifications: You can modify this exercise from an inclined position (planking on a bench) or by dropping the knees down while keeping the hips straight. This is a form of isometric exercise that will straighten your core muscles.
For about 5-10 minutes after exercise, perform low-intensity and gentle movements such as stretching and mobility to slowly let your muscles relax after the workout. Reducing your heart rate and allowing the body to properly relax, reduces the risk of becoming dizzy and sore post-workout. If you feel dizzy after exercising, you can use your blood pressure monitor to check your blood pressure. This is especially important for hypertensive patients as some medications taken prior to exercise can cause low blood pressure resulting in giddiness after exercise.
Tips for Adjusting Workout Intensity
As your body slowly begins to develop baseline strength and endurance, you will likely start to notice your exercise routine start to feel easier. In order to progress safely, slowly increase the resistance and difficulty of your exercise program and monitor your body’s response closely. Take the feedback from your body and adjusting your regimen accordingly is the best policy. Don’t hesitate to contact an exercise or fitness professional such as a professional trainer or physical therapist for additional guidance, health education and personalisation. Enjoy the journey, try activities that interest you, and most of all, invest time and energy into the longevity of your health.
The incidence of hypertension among working adults across the globe continues to climb sharply each year. A significant number of the world population works desk bound jobs as our lives grow busier over time. Exercise is a well recognized low cost, natural, and non-invasive method to treat and prevent hypertension. For high blood pressure to be effectively managed through active lifestyle, the patient must be consistent in doing his or her exercises. Other than doing strength training and aerobic exercises, patients can also adopt the DASH diet. Having good control of your blood pressure will decrease the risk of kidney disease and heart disease secondary to hypertension and eventually help to lower blood pressure. We hope that you have found this information helpful.
Disclaimer: No content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.