Exercise to prevent hypertension

Mild exercise’s role in the treatment of hypertension is important. As experts point out, on the occasion of World Anti-Hypertension Day, this is a multifactorial and “silent” disease, from which about one third of adults are suffering. The causes of the disease are the hardening of the vessels due to aging, and the deposition of fat on the walls of the vessels, causing a narrowing.

In Greece, 4 out of 10 hypertensive remain undiagnosed. The disease has a major impact on quality of life and on public health. It remains the predominant factor in the development of cardiovascular diseases, such as myocardial infarction, coronary artery disease and heart failure. Also, hypertension increases the risk of stroke, renal failure and peripheral arterial disease.

Changing lifestyle, with possible changes in diet, weight loss, and compliance with medication may be necessary behaviours to treat hypertension.

The European Society of Hypertension and Cardiology in their latest guidelines on hypertension underline the importance of exercise as it is considered being a means of preventing and treating hypertension.
In particular, aerobic exercise such as walking, swimming, cycling, and dancing among others, has been shown to prevent and help manage mild hypertension. Similar effects have also been observed in programs with mild strength training. Finally, the type, duration and frequency of exercise are important factors, which should be determined by the specialized physiotherapist.

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