The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the American College of Sports Medicine all recommend twice-a-week muscle strengthening exercise (Pescatello et al., 2015). Research indicates that moderate- intensity resistance training improves blood pressure. When you lift an object, your blood
pressure rises based on how many muscles you use and how hard it is to lift it. For instance, lifting with your legs and back or lifting very heavy weights will increase your blood pressure more than lifting with your arms only or lifting light weights. As your strength increases, your blood pressure will be lower when lifting the same weight compared to when you started. Follow the FITT principal when creating a resistance exercise program (Pescatello et al., 2015).
Frequency -Do resistance exercise twice to thrice weekly on nonconsecutive days (Cornelissen et al., 2005)
Intensity -Exercise at a moderate level. If you can lift a weight ten to 15 times, you’ve achieved moderate intensity. You get to high intensity when you can lift a weight only eight to ten times. Remember, you aren’t training to be a weight lifter. Your goal is to improve your strength and muscle endurance so your daily activities will be less stressful. At such, Resistance exercise should be at moderate intensity (Cornelissen et al., 2005), which could be expressed as 50-70% of 1-repetition maximum (1-RM– maximum amount of weight one can lift in a single repetition for a given exercise).
Time -This will depend on the number of exercises you do. Each session of resistance exercise should minimally include 8–10 exercises and should consist of at least 1 set of 8–12 repetitions per exercise (Cornelissen et al., 2005).
Type -Exercise all major muscle groups using either free weights or a machine. There is no difference between the two methods. The same exercises at home using lighter weights, resistance bands, or body weight as the resistance, like push-ups or sit-ups. Resistance exercise performed should be alternating between upper- body and lower- body works to allow for adequate rest between exercises. Some examples of resistance exercise include chest press, shoulder press, triceps extension, biceps curl, pull-down (upper back), lower-back extension, abdominal crunch/curl-up, quadriceps extension or leg press, leg curls (hamstrings), and calf raise (William et al., 2007).
Most guidelines recommend a noncompeting adjunct role for resistance exercise, incorporating 1–2 set(s) of 10–15 repetitions for each major muscle group (8–10 exercises) on 2–3 days per week (Brook et al., 2013; Pescatello et al., 2004; Williams et al., 2007). Available studies demonstrate that a single session of resistance exercise can produce PEH (Gomes Anunciação & Doederlein Polito, 2011), even at low-intensities (Melo et al., 2006).