Exercise and Hypertension

It seems as though many Americans are living a life that leads to high blood pressure or hypertension. As people age, the situation gets worse. Nearly half of all older Americans have hypertension. This disease makes people five times more prone to strokes, three times more likely to have a heart attack, and two to three times more likely to experience a heart failure.

The problem with this disease is that nearly one third of the folks who have hypertension do not know it because they never feel any direct pain. But overtime the force of that pressure damages the inside surface of your blood vessels.

However, according to experts, hypertension is not predestined. Reducing salt intake, adopting a desirable dietary pattern losing weight and exercising can all help prevent hypertension.

Obviously, quitting bad habits and eating a low fat diet will help, but the most significant part that you can do is to exercise. And just as exercise strengthens and improves limb muscles, it also enhances the health of the heart muscles.

Heart and Exercise

The exercise stimulates the development of new connections between the impaired and the nearly normal blood vessels, so people who exercise had a better blood supply to all the muscle tissue of the heart.

The human heart basically, supply blood to an area of the heart damaged in a “myocardial infarction” heart attack is a condition, in which, the myocardium or the heart muscle does not get enough oxygen and other nutrients and so it begins to die.

For this reason and after a series of careful considerations, some researchers have observed that exercise can stimulate the development of these life saving detours in the heart. One study further showed that moderate exercise several times a week is more effective in building up these auxiliary pathways than extremely vigorous exercise done twice as often.

Such information has led some people to think of exercise as a panacea for heart disorders, a fail-safe protection against hypertension or death. That is not so. Even marathon runners that have suffered hypertension, and exercise cannot overcome combination of other risk factor.

What Causes Hypertension?

Sometimes abnormalities of the kidney are responsible. There is also a study wherein the researchers identified more common contributing factors such as heredity, obesity, and lack of physical activity. And so, what can be done to lower blood pressure and avoid the risk of developing hypertension? Again, exercise seems to be just what the doctor might order.

If you think that is what he will do, then, try to contemplate on this list and find some ways how you can incorporate these things into your lifestyle and start to live a life free from the possibilities of developing hypertension. But before you start following the systematic instructions, it would be better to review them first before getting into action.

1. See your doctor
Check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. If you make any significant changes in your level of physical activity, particularly if those changes could make large and sudden demands on your circulatory system ?check with your doctors again.

2. Take it slow

Start at a low, comfortable level of exertion and progress gradually. The program is designed in two stages to allow for a progressive increase in activity.

3. Know your limit

Determine your safety limit for exertion. Use some clues such as sleep problems or fatigue the day after a workout to check on whether you are overdoing it. Once identified, stay within it. Over-exercising is both dangerous and unnecessary.

4. Exercise regularly

You need to work out a minimum of three times a week and a maximum of five times a week to get the most benefit. Once you are in peak condition, a single workout a week can maintain the muscular benefits. However, cardiovascular fitness requires more frequent activity.

5. Exercise at a rate within your capacity

The optimum benefits for older exercisers are produced by exercise at 40% to 60% of capacity.

Indeed, weight loss through exercise is an excellent starting point if you wan tot prevent hypertension. Experts say that being overweight is linked to an increased risk of developing hypertension, and losing weight decreases the risk.

Free Weight vs Machine Exercise

Something you need to keep in mind and never forget is that when you exercise, you are training for life. You still may spend an hour a day in the gym, although that will still leave another 23 hours or so for your muscles to function without using any fancy equipment.

Whenever you do any type of exercise, the movement of your body during the exercise is known as the range of motion. The more difficult the range of motion is, the more effective the exercise will be, because your body has to work twice as hard to perform the movement.

Take for the instance the classic dumbbell bicep curl. If you aren’t familiar with the exercise, it is performed by standing up straight with your palms facing forward, and a pair of dumbbells held down by your sides. You’ll contract your biceps to bring the dumbbells up to your shoulder height, then repeat the exercise as many times as you wish.

Using that same movement for exercise on a bicep curl machine, you should sit down, brace your upper arms on a pad, grasp 2 handles that are in front of you, then perform the same movement as above to move the handles in an upward motion.

Now, looking at the muscle contractions in this exercise, you are contracting essentially your biceps if you are using the curl machine, and that is pretty much all you are doing. When you use the machine you are sitting down, which will limit just how much your shoulders give. The machine has several muscles used in this exercise limited to the biceps, as well as
the muscles in your forearms and fingers.

Most of the time, when using machine weights, you will always be limited as to what type of exercise you can perform. You must always follow a strict procedure, which is pretty much the same with free weights. Unlike free weights, machine weights offer a certain degree of resistance.

One of the best thing about free weights is the fact that you move a little chuck around to select the weight you want to use. Instead of dragging it over to your exercise area, you simply select it on the machine. When you are tired during a workout, this can be a blessing.

A lot of people argue in the fact that free weights are the best for your body. While this is normally true, many people out there feel that machine weights are the best. There are pros
and cons with both machines, although free weights have been around a lot longer and have been proven time after time to achieve dramatic results.

Body builders for example, have used free weights over the years to build very impressive bodies. If you ask most of them about machine weights, they would probably laugh at you and tell you that you need to quit joking around. In a nutshell, free weights will use more of your muscles than the machines do, which makes them more effective overall. This doesn’t mean that the machines are a waste of use, as they offer some great advantages. In some cases, it is best to stabilize the muscles that are being used in a movement, which is where machines are the best to use.

The decision on which to use for you should be based on what you hope to achieve with lifting weights and where you plan to use the equipment, such as home or at a gym. Both systems are great for your body, although the free weights are best to use if you want the best possible workout, and always ensure that your muscles are getting the right workouts they need.

Cross Training for Fitness and Fat Loss

The numbers on your scale do not indicate whether you are fit or fat. Far more significant than your total body weight is the composition of your body tissue. If a man’s fatty tissue is higher than 14% of his body mass, or if a woman’s is more than 20%, he or she is overweight, or more precisely, over-fat (in this context it simply means too much fat tissue).

A small amount of fat is needed for padding the internal organs and as insulation under the skin. Excess fat leads to such diseases as diabetes, gout, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and gallbladder problems. There are very few, very fat persons. The reason is that the fittest, not the fattest survive.

The problem now is focused on how to resolve the problem. The problem with most people who want to lose weight is that they have the propensity to concentrate more on getting those numbers lower than what they are seeing now. What happens next is that they strive harder to achieve a lower weight, according to the “ever-reliable” result of the weighing scale.

It would be more important to think of the human body as a heat-exchange engine that works on the basic principles of energy physics. The caloric balance equals the total calorie intake minus the total calorie expenditure.

Some of the calories people ingest are used for basal metabolism. As people get old, their bodies require fewer calories for this basic upkeep. Some calories are excreted as waste products. Some go into work metabolism — the energy expenditure required for any physical activity.

Hence, if people take in more calories than are used by these functions, there is a definite caloric excess. By the laws of physics, energy is transformed rather than destroyed. In this case, each excess of 3,500 calories is changed into a pound of fat. If people want to reverse this process, they have to burn up 3,500 calories to lose a single pound.

Winning the War Against Fat

When you think of fighting fat with exercise, you probably think of hours of hard, sweaty exertion. If this is the case, then, you will not get any farther. This is because people who are so much into losing more by exerting more effort tend to get bored easily.

Why? Because experts contend that when people exert more effort than what they are capable of doing creates a tendency to develop weariness and ennui. Hence, they give up, stop doing their routine exercises, and end up sulking in the corner with a bag of chips that seems to have all the bad calories in this world.

Now, you might ask, “What should be done instead?” The answer: cross training.

After some intensive studies and experimentation, health experts were able to come up with the concept of incorporating cross training in order to overcome or break the monotony or dullness in an exercise program.

Cross training refers to the integration of diverse movements or activities into a person抯 conventional exercise routine. The main purpose of incorporating cross training into an exercise program is to avoid overdoing excess muscle damages and to put a stop to an imminent boredom.

Three of the most commonly used activities whenever a person decides to engage into cross training are swimming, running, and cycling.

In cross training, distance is one way to extend your activity as your condition improves. For this reason, you need to traverse a measured distance.

If possible, swim the course and measure the distance. If you will be using a running track, such courses usually are a quarter-mile per lap for a complete circuit.

Cross training offers a variety of benefits for fitness and fat-loss. It builds up the strength and endurance of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. It has also some tranquilizing effect on the nerves, and it burns up calories as much as it makes your weight loss more bearable.

Cross training has three basic components:

1. Endurance exercises to condition the heart, lungs, and blood vessels and to induce relaxation. These begin with a careful planned walking and jogging regimen, depending on fitness level.

2. Exercises to strengthen the muscles, particularly those important to good posture. These include some activities that are selected to encourage some people who are already burnt out with a particular routine.

3. Exercises to improve joint mobility and prevent or relieve aches and pains. These consist of a series of static stretching positions that are safe and effective for most of the people who wish to try to lose some fat.

Indeed, cross training is a great way to modify the concept of exercising and losing fat without having to endure monotonous activities. In fact, the idea of exercising is to like what you are doing, hence, if you engage into cross training, you will be aware of it that you have already achieve your desired weight.

Boiled down, cross training is, certainly, one way of having fun.

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Benefits of Resistance Training

Do you want to have a stronger and more beautiful body? Then the best thing to do is get on your feet and start doing the resistance training.

 

What Is Resistance Training?

Resistance training involves activities that use weights, machines and even body weight to work out the muscles properly. It is also known as strength training or weight training. This can be very helpful in achieving a healthier body.

This kind of training is usually associated with athletes who have to build up their bodies. Most people would think that when resistance training is done, the body will grow bigger. Actually it will not. Resistance training is simply about increasing the strength of the body, not its size.

Actually, this can be practiced by anyone. It basically builds and tones the muscle to give the body a better look. This training program is even very much advisable to the elders. The usual training programs undergone by the elders are standing free-weights resistance or the moderate-intensity seated machine training.

 

How Does Resistance Training Work?

A resistance training program will include the use of various exercise equipment and machines like the bench press, dumbbell or barbell. When the equipment is used, the muscles of the body will be pitted against the weight. The cells of the body will then adapt to the extra weight. This will then result to hypertrophy or the enlarging and increasing of the nerve cells to help in the muscle contraction.

Before doing any resistance training, it will be best to consult first with the doctor. This goes especially for people who have medical conditions or are overweight. This kind of training is not something that you can explore on your own. You have to know the proper equipment for the needs of your body. The body must also be conditioned first before taking in the weights.

Resistance training can also be done without resorting to the equipment. Doing push-ups is one good example. You can do it just about anywhere where there is enough space for you to move. This time it is your own body weight that will be pitted against the muscles. So those who are a bit constrained in the budget can still do resistance trainings.

 

What Are the Benefits of Resistance Training?

1. Increase Bone Mineral Density

Bones are constantly remodelling, meaning the tissues break down at the same time they build up. The peak of remodelling takes place during puberty. However, as a person ages, there may be problems with the bone mineral density as the remodelling may not be as active anymore. This is especially a problem to post-menopausal women.

Bone mineral density is usually supported by the hormones. To address the problem of not having the hormones to maintain the bone mineral density, physical activity is the next best option. Resistance training is one physical activity that can address this.

2. Increase Strength

Strong bones and strong muscles will be developed as you undergo the resistance training program.

3. Increase the Range of Activities

When your body is strong enough to carry some considerable weight, then definitely you will also be capable of doing more strenuous activities. You are less likely to be lazy and you can live a more active lifestyle.

4. Reduce the Body Fat

Pitting the weights on your muscle will definitely give it the body the exercise it needs and get rid of the undesirable fats. Thus expect the tone of the body to improve. Even more, expect the body to look better, to be leaner.

5. Improve State of the Elders

For the elderly, undergoing a resistance training program will help improve their health and decrease the risks brought about by the age. They can be more independent, without needing to rely on other people for doing simple things. Being able to do so will also decrease the risk of injuries in the elders

6. Improve Heart Condition

Regularly doing resistance training can result to a lowered heart rate and lowered blood pressure, especially after exercise. The risk of heart diseases is reduced to a considerable extent.

 

This kind of training however must be properly done. It requires commitment and consistency. It will have to be done in a regular basis, following a schedule that the doctor or the physical trainer would recommend. If done incorrectly, the benefits of the program may not be enjoyed and it can even result the injury.

The key here is to simply take your time. Do things one step at a time correctly. As your body condition improves, then move on to more challenging tasks. The strength of the body and its overall look are at stake in the resistance training. So you better be sure to do it properly.