Evaluation and treatment of hypertension in active individuals

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Evaluation and treatment of hypertension in active individuals. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 30, No. 10(Suppl.), pp. S354-S366, 1998. Hypertension is a very common vascular disease. It is seen in adolescents, obese persons, postmenopausal women, and the elderly. A nonpharmacologic approach to treatment is a critical first step in management. The modalities include a diet low in salt and saturated fat, exercise, less than 2 ounces of alcohol daily, and abstinence from smoking. Dynamic (aerobic) exercise is effective in lowering blood pressure (BP) only if performed regularly. Weight reduction by diet must be combined with exercise if there is to be a reduction in BP. Strength training is not to be considered as an alternative to aerobic training for reducing BP. Antihypertensive mediation can be added to nonpharmacologic interventions for additional BP reduction. Beta-blockade is not a contraindication to exercise training.

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