Physical Exercise for Arterial Hypertension in the Elderly

Tempo de Leitura: 2 minutos

Hypertension is one of the silent diseases that affect the majority of the world’s population, also known as “high blood pressure”. Blood pressure, in turn, is responsible for pushing the blood pumped by the heart, by the arteries, taking the necessary supply to the other organs, and when the pressure is “high”, the heart makes more force to pump the blood, because with age the arteries become less complacent and offer more resistance to its passage. This force can cause damage to the walls of the arteries, and result in a stroke, heart failure and kidney failure.

However, physical exercise is one of the main forms of prevention and therapy used for hypertensive patients, as it reduces blood pressure (BP) and cardiovascular risk factors, reducing morbidity and mortality rates due to this cause.

What does the scientific literature point out about the impact of exercise in this case?

Thus, the systematic review entitled “Effects of exercise on hypertension control in older adults: systematic review”,

included 12 studies, which analyzed the effects of aerobic and resistance exercise on the anthropometric profile and cardiovascular responses of elderly patients with systemic arterial hypertension (SAH).

The training protocol had a weekly frequency of three times and duration of six months. Developed in a concentric and eccentric way for upper limbs, trunk and lower limbs, consisting of eight stations, each composed of three complete sets of ten repetitions each, performed in moderate rhythm.

After six months of training, the authors found that the use of a physical training program based on aerobic exercises associated with resistance exercises (circuit with weights), resulted in significant reductions in mean arterial pressure (MAP) and resting heart rate (HR), accompanied by a linear reduction in body fat percentage (%BF) of hypertensive elderly.

Clinical practice

Based on the findings of the present review, it is possible to identify that the Aerobic exercise is an effective tool in the treatment of the elderly hypertensive population. Supervised training, and with moderate intensity, seems to generate more benefits than high-intensity training, for such reductions in blood pressure. And this can also allow the patient to be less dependent on drugs.

Bibliographic references

NOGUEIRA, Ingrid Correia; SANTOS, Zélia Maria de Sousa Araújo; MONT’ALVERNE, Daniela Gardano Bucharles; MARTINS, Aline Barbosa Teixeira; MAGALHÃES, Clarissa Bentes de Araujo. Effects of physical exercise on the control of hypertension in the elderly: a systematic review. Brazilian Journal of Geriatrics and Gerontology, [S .L.], v. 15, n. 3, p. 587-601, set. 2012. FapUNIFESP (SciELO).

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