The Bodybuilding Lifestyle and its Benefits on Blood Pressure
Just as Joe Weider’s book Bodybuilding The Weider Approach says Bodybuilding! The word evokes radically different impressions, emotions, and images from almost everyone who hears it. These images are as unique to each person as the individuals themselves are unique. To one person bodybuilding might mean merely keeping fit and looking trim in clothes. To another person bodybuilding might mean gaining a little strength to play a sport at a higher level.
But to most men and women, bodybuilding is an activity that produces herculean men with mind blowing muscle size, garden hoses for veins, and a total absence of body fat. The beauty of bodybuilding is that any one can improve their health, fitness, and appearance through bodybuilding. Hundreds of thousands of men and women have improved their bodies through bodybuilding training and health dietary practices.
Blood pressure as defined by The American Red Cross as the force exerted by the blood against the blood vessel walls as it travels throughout the body. Blood pressure is a good indicator of how the circulatory system is functioning. If a person’s circulatory system is working normally, blood pressure remains constant and within a normal range. If the circulatory system is failing, blood pressure reflects this failure by dropping.
Blood pressure is necessary to move the oxygen and nutrients in the blood to the body’s organs and muscles. It is also necessary to move waste products, such as carbon dioxide, to various parts of the body for removal. Because of these reasons it is important to check your blood pressure frequently. When blood pressure problems are diagnosed early that will make it so that it can be more easily managed in order to prevent any further complications.
The American Red Cross has estimated that more than 50 million people in the United States of America have high blood pressure, but only two out of three afflicted have been diagnosed. Left untreated, its effects can be devastating: Heart disease, stroke and atherosclerosis are common byproducts of consistently elevated pressure. In 90 percent of those diagnosed with high blood pressure, the cause is unknown and the condition is referred to as primary hypertension.
With such a large percent of people not diagnosed that is very dangerous. No wonder it is a disease referred to as the “silent killer” because it usually causes no symptoms until the damage it creates manifests itself. Secondary hypertension, on the other hand, results from numerous known causes the most prevalent of which is kidney disease, which affects blood volume, and resistance to blood flow encountered within blood vessels.
Blood pressure is reported by giving the top number or first number (systolic) pressure first, then the low number or second number (diastolic) pressure. The average adult systolic blood pressure is approximately 120 mmHg. The average adult diastolic blood pressure is approximately 80 mmHg. The systolic number reflects the pressure within the arteries when your heart is working, or contracting to expel blood. The diastolic number reflects the pressure in your arteries when your heart is relaxed and refilling.
Both the systolic and diastolic blood pressures are normally measured in even numbers. High blood pressure is indicated when a value of greater than 140/90 mmHg. is measured. A person’s blood pressure can vary greatly. A person’s initial blood pressure reading can be high as a result of stress. Two recordings on separate occasions allow for the confirmation of a hypertensive condition and call for some intervention.
It is always preached that exercise is like a wonder drug. Although we know that exercise benefits us in so many different ways. It certainly can play a major role in helping to prevent so many different illnesses. Its effect is considered some what moderate in the case of hypertension. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the addition of regular aerobic exercise can be expected to reduce systolic and diastolic pressure about 10 mmHg. for those with primary hypertension.
So that certainly does make regular aerobic exercise a positive step, but not enough to bring things back to normal when there is a significant elevation present. Of course aerobic exercise also increases your daily energy expenditure, helping to establish a negative energy balance or expenditure greater than intake. This will definitely be yet another positive step because it will cause the loss of bodyfat.
Conservative methods are always preferred, so dietary modifications; weight loss; lifestyle alterations and exercise should always be the first plan of attack. Reducing your caloric intake, increasing expenditure with aerobic exercise and cutting down sodium intake are all good measures for addressing this problem. Not smoking and trying to reduce stress most certainly are also very important strategies.
I spoke earlier of the potential health benefits any one can receive from bodybuilding. When strength training is included with all the methods in your plan of attack. These methods are the very definition of bodybuilding training. With this kind of bodybuilding training being performed blood pressure will inevitable be steadily improved upon. The reason is because the strength training causes stronger muscles which will positively influence blood pressure.
Even those with normal blood pressure experience elevations during exercise. If your resting pressure is elevated, it will certainly be higher during all of your daily physical activities. The elevation caused by exertion is directly related to how much effort is being placed on the body from the exertion. The more potentially challenging an activity, the more blood pressure would rise. Let’s say that you take out the trash each day and that it weighs about the same each day.
The harder your muscles work to take out the trash the more your pressure will be elevated. If your muscles get stronger, the trash will be less taxing for you to lift even though it still weighs about the same. As a result, blood pressure elevations associated with the particular job will be less. That is how strength training plays a role in improving blood pressure. Your strength capacity improves so that the same demand produces less of an overload.