Small Changes Can Make a Difference

This dance module is the first in a series of programmes that we are bringing you. We are delighted that it is endorsed by Professor Massimo Volpe, Professor and Chair of Cardiology and Director of the Specialty School in Cardiovascular Disease, at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, and Trudie Lobban MBE, who is the Founder and CEO of the international charity, the Atrial Fibrillation Association and Founder and Trustee of the Arrhythmia Alliance (The Heart Rhythm Charity).

 

Volpe Highres nuovaProfessor Massimo Volpe MD, FESC, FAHA
Professor Volpe is former President of The Italian Society for Cardiovascular Prevention (SIPREC) as well as currently being the Chair of Cardiology, Deputy Dean of Medicine, Director of the Specialty School in Cardiovascular Desease, Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Psychology, University of Rome Sapienza. He is head of the Division of Cardiology and of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Science Department, Sant’Andrea Hospital.

Trudie Lobban, MBE, FRCPtrudie_lobban
Trudie is the founder of the Atrial Fibrillation Association, an international charity working to provide information, support and access to established, now or innovative treatments for Atrial Fibrillation. Trudie sits on a number of medical boards and steering groups in addition to being a council member of committees and advisory boards. She is also an author and co-author of numerous medical papers relating to cardiac arrhythmias.

 

We are helping to support the prevention of cardiovascular diseases by using this lifestyle change which helps to aid the control of hypertension through exercise.

The higher a person’s blood pressure, the greater the risk the person will suffer illness associated with cardiovascular disease (heart failure, heart attack, and stroke) and even death. Hypertension is typically defined as blood pressure above 140/90 mmHgiii, however the risk of cardiovascular disease starts below this threshold, and rises steadily as blood pressure levels increase. Therefore, by controlling blood pressure, the risk of illness associated with cardiovascular diseases can be reduced.
For further information about hypertension, see our frequently asked questions (FAQ) on this site.

Exercise is a Key Factor for prevention

Lifestyle changes can be made to help prevent high blood pressure byiv:

  • losing weight if you need to
  • reducing the amount of salt you eat
  • exercising regularly
  • eating a healthy diet
  • cutting back if you drink too much alcohol
  • stopping smoking
  • cutting down on caffeine

We know that ongoing investigation around lifestyle interventions have proven to be beneficial in the prevention and treatment of hypertension and have resulted in updated guidelines from the European Society of Hypertension (ESH) and of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) advise thatv:

  • Epidemiological studies suggested that regular aerobic physical activity may be beneficial for both prevention and treatment of hypertension and to lower CV risk and mortality
  • Hypertensive patients should be advised to participate in at least 30 min of moderate-intensity dynamic aerobic exercise on 5–7 days per week

Because of this, the prevention and treatment of hypertension are a high priority in medicine and public health. It is well documented that blood pressure reduction with medication significantly reduces cardiovascular risk. But, exercise remains a cornerstone therapy for the primary prevention, treatment, and control of hypertensionvi.

This dance programme and the following modules in this series are supporting programmes for healthcare professionals and patients which can play an important role, by providing education on hypertension and the motivational skills for lifestyle changes.


iii Mancia G et al. 2013 ESH/ESC Guidelines for the management of arterial hypertension: The Task Force for the management of arterial hypertension of the European Society of Hypertension (ESH) and of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). J Hypertens 2013; 31: 1281-1357.
iv http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Blood-pressure-(high)/Pages/Prevention.aspx
v 2013 ESH/ESC Guidelines for the management of arterial hypertension Available HERE
vi Effect of Aerobic Exercises in Blood Pressure, Abu Shaphe et al. Available HERE