One way to lower blood pressure High blood pressure thumps along the arteries, damaging them as it does. Usually, you don’t notice any symptoms. But even without symptoms, high blood pressure can cause damage to your blood vessels and organs, especially the brain, heart, eyes and kidneys. A local Exercise Physiologist (EP) has one piece of advice for those with high blood pressure, also known as hypertension (HTN): get moving. NAPHL Health Hub Accredited EP Aric Visentin (pictured) said one of the most effective ways to lower blood pressure is through exercise. “Exercise opens up our blood vessels (vasodilation), allowing our blood to travel to the whole body more easily, which can also lower our blood pressure,” Mr Visentin said. “Regular aerobic exercise has been shown to lower our blood pressure over time with persistence and consistency.” The Townsville EP recommended between 2.5 and 5 hours of exercise per week at a moderate intensity. This includes at least two days of strength exercises. However, he recommends you don’t go it alone, saying people with high blood pressure need to take extra care while exercising. “If your blood pressure is poorly controlled it is important to consult your GP first, followed by an Exercise Physiologist before commencement of any physical activity,” Mr Visentin said. “I recommend monitoring both heart rate and blood pressure before and after exercise – sometimes even during exercise dependent on whether you have other conditions – to get an idea of how your body is reacting to exercise therapy with HTN,” Mr Visentin said. “It is important to communicate with your doctor and exercise professionals in regards to exercise and medication as prescription of both can change depending on physical outcomes and medication.” Mr Visentin said there are many exercise professionals and programs that can help those with hypertension. “Individuals with chronic conditions and complex needs can be referred to an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Physiotherapist or to a Cardiac Rehabilitation Program,” he said. “Those who have stable blood pressure can be referred to programs run by Exercise Physiologists.” If you have been diagnosed with hypertension, an Exercise Physiologist can guide you in how to exercise safely and effectively for your condition. To find out more, call 07 4722 8750 to book an appointment today. This is general health advice only. You should speak to your doctor for diagnosis and treatment of blood pressure concerns.