Blood Pressure Guide for Health and Wellness Coaches
The only clear fact (according to the WHO-ISH) known about blood pressure is that 120/80 mmHg is optimal and 130/85 mmHg is classed as normal, and anything significantly above or below this value is not. However, besides this fact, there is no clear evidence on what might be causing the blood pressure to rise or fall below the normal value.
There are many causes for increased blood pressure like heart diseases, obesity, too much intake of alcohol, lack of physical activity, and so on. But, being a fitness and wellness coach, it is entirely your responsibility to analyze the root cause of the abnormal blood pressure and how you can coach clients in blood pressure maintenance.
In this guide, you will understand blood pressure-related concepts and issues deeply, so you can provide people with the right fitness or diet plan needed to overcome the problem.
Blood Pressure Ranges
WHO-ISH suggests that blood pressure 140/90 mmHg or above is high and includes hypertension and “high normal.” High normal blood pressure ranges between 140/85 mmHg and 140/90 mmHg. At the same time, hypertension is the state where blood pressure is 140/90 mmHg or any value above that. On the other hand, blood pressure with a value below 120/80 mmHg is known as Low Blood Pressure.
Home Monitoring Your Client’s Blood Pressure
The first step in dealing with your client with blood pressure issues is to monitor the value home yourself. It keeps you from any risks and consequences that you might face otherwise. For home monitoring, use a sphygmomanometer, follow the instructions given on the monitor like;
- Place your cuff around the arm just above the elbow.
- Keep still and take the reading. Ask your client not to cross legs, avoid laughing, chewing, or any similar activity that might affect the reading.
- Take two or three readings, each about one to two minutes. It will help you determine if you’ve taken the right readings. If all the readings are much higher/lower than the next one, ignore them and take the reading again.
- Keep the record of your measurements in the memory of your monitor, computer, or piece of paper.
If you’ve got the readings and find your client with a hypertension issue, know that it’s time to begin your job!
Abnormal High Blood Pressure; What Causes Hypertension?
When the blood flows higher than normal in the arteries, this causes high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. This state is dangerous for people, leading to other lethal health issues like stroke and heart diseases. It can damage the person’s brain, eyes, kidneys, etc.
The issue with hypertension is that it rarely shows any symptoms or signs, and many people do not know they have it until diagnosed by a specialist. So, if you’ve got to deal with a client with hypertension, you need to be very careful about the diagnosis process. You need to reach the root cause professionally.
To help you out, let me sort this out for you!
Hypertension develops over time, so finding out the root cause becomes easier. For instance;
- Your client must be enjoying unhealthy lifestyle choices like avoiding regular physical activity, an unhealthy diet full of cholesterol, fat, salt, drinking too much alcohol, etc.
- They might have certain underlying health issues like obesity, diabetes, kidney and hormone problems that increase the risk of developing hypertension.
- If your client is elderly, there are high chances of facing hypertension issues due to age factors.
- Also, if your client is pregnant, she might face some hypertension issues during this stage.
- Lastly, your client frequently gets the condition in their genes from their close relatives or parents, etc.
The best way to get to the root cause from where your client has gotten the issue from is to investigate directly from them. Ask a few simple questions about their lifestyle, diet, health issues, genetic makeup, etc. Hopefully, you’ll get your answer.
What to suggest to clients with Hypertension Issues?
Every client doesn’t have the same reasons for hypertension. Nevertheless, if you’ve reached the final cause of your client’s hypertension problem, here are some things that you can suggest to them.
1. Dietary Considerations:
First and foremost, ensure that your client cuts back on food that is high in cholesterol, fat, trans fats, and salt. Also, it would be best if they limit the intake of sweets, red meat, sodium, and sugary drinks.
Suggest them eat more fruits, low-fat dairy foods and vegetables, whole-grain foods, nuts, fish, and poultry. Also, ask them to avoid drinking too much alcohol and smoking as much as possible.
Drinking too much alcohol can dramatically raise blood pressure and unhealthy living conditions. Binge drinking is, consuming four or more drinks within two hours for women and five or more drinks for men. A drink is 12 ounces of beer, 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits, or 5 ounces of wine.
Thus, drinking alcohol can lead to lethal health conditions, while hypertension is the first step. As alcohol contains calories, it may contribute to unwanted weight gain in people – another major cause of high blood pressure in general.
In addition to hypertension, alcohol can also interact with your client’s blood pressure medication and affect the medication level in your client’s body. Therefore, it is important that you also figure out if your client is on some blood pressure pills. If so, alcohol needs to be immediately stopped.
Ask your clients to add regular exercise to their daily routines. Regardless of age and gender, everyone must exercise, maintain a normal body weight, and participate in community activities to stay healthy and fit. Suggesting exercise is the best way to help your clients control the issue; it lowers the blood pressure by allowing easy blood flow through reduced blood vessel stiffness.
To help your client lower/maintain their blood pressure, you can suggest them some good exercises like;
- Moderate, 10-minutes, waking three times a day.
- Pedal pushing or desk treadmilling
- 30-minutes stationary cycling or 10-minutes blocks of cycling three times a day.
- Weight training/lifting
All these exercises are moderate and never let the blood pressure of your client rise to an abnormal level. Heavy exercises are not good for people suffering from hypertension issues. These slow and moderate exercises will keep your client’s blood pressure at normal and help them stay fit and healthy all the time.
3. AntiHypertensive medications:
If your client’s blood pressure is moderately high or severely high, ask him to consult a doctor first to maintain his blood pressure. Antihypertensive medications are prescribed to such patients to lower their blood pressure. Avoid heavy weightlifting while having very high and very low blood pressure.
Low blood pressure and exercise
Blood pressure doesn’t always tend to rise; sometimes people come with low blood pressure, i.e., Blood pressure is lower than 120/80mm of Hg. Rule out the cause of their low blood pressure first. The most common reason might be their low energy levels. There are many other reasons like:
- Severe infections or septicemia
- Inadequate nutrients
- Blood loss
- Anaphylactic reaction
- Heart diseases
Rule out the cause of low blood pressure before exercise. Otherwise, vigorous exercise may lead to worst consequences like nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, unconsciousness, and cognitive impairment.
Consideration for clients with low blood pressure as a fitness coach:
Check their calorie intake
- Ask them to stay hydrated
- Increase salt intake
- Avoid quick postural changes
- Avoid exercises that involve bending and quick postural changes
- Use support hose
- Consult a doctor if blood pressure doesn’t improve.
Blood pressure maintenance is an important consideration in hypertensive people. They are prone to develop ischemia which may lead to angina or Myocardial infarction. Very high blood pressure can cause a stroke. Check the blood pressure of your clients before fitness training and workout sessions. Similarly, please take note of low pressure too; it is also associated with risk factors as mentioned above. Keep your client’s blood pressure in optimal ranges to keep them fit and healthy.
Spencer Institute certification programs are open to anyone with a desire to learn and help others. There are no prerequisites.
That’s it for now.