In today’s blog and video, we’ll clarify whether you can train clients with high blood pressure.
- What is High Blood Pressure?
- Can I Train Clients With High Blood Pressure?
- Who can work with clients that have hypertension?
- What to do if I’m not qualified?
- What to do if you are qualified to work with long-term conditions?
- How to get qualified to Train Clients With High Blood Pressure?
First, watch the 7-minute video and read through the notes below.
Watch: Can I Train Clients With High Blood Pressure?
What is Hypertension/ High Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure (BP) is the pressure the blood exerts on the artery walls. The pressure increases when the heart contracts and decreases as the heart relaxes.
Blood pressure is recorded as systolic blood pressure over diastolic blood pressure. It is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). An optimal blood pressure reading is 120/80mmHg.
Systolic blood pressure is the pressure exerted during the contraction of the heart. Diastolic blood pressure is when the heart relaxes.
High blood pressure (hypertension) will be diagnosed if:
- the systolic reading is equal to or above 140mmHg.
- the diastolic reading is equal to or above 90mmHg.
- the client is on medication to stabilise and normalise their blood pressure.
Can I Train Clients With High Blood Pressure?
A client with High blood pressure/ hypertension refers a PAR-Q (pre-activity readiness questionnaire). This client is at higher risk of heart attack or stroke during the exercise session.
As a Level 2 and 3 fitness instructor, you are unlikely to be qualified to work with the hypertensive client.
The required qualifications include:
- The Level 3 Diploma in Exercise Referral
- Level 3 GP Referral
- or the New Level 3 Diploma in Supporting Clients With Long-Term Conditions.
These qualifications explain how to work safely with a range of long-term conditions. They also equip you to refer to medical professionals.
Who can work with clients that have hypertension?
Only those that have the qualification are insured to work with hypertensive clients.
Even if the GP (or consultant) has said the client can exercise, this is only relevant if the FITPRO is qualified.
This means that only those that understand the condition can train hypertensive clients.
What to do if I’m not qualified?
If you are not qualified in exercise referral or long-term conditions, then you cannot train this client. This is still the case if the GP has approved the client to exercise.
The GP is not responsible for working out if you are qualified or not.
A GP letter does NOT substitute a qualification, it is for those that are qualified to work with that client.
Your best course of action is to refer this client to a qualified fitness professional. This could be someone else in your gym or a different instructor that you know.
Either way, you should only work with those that you are qualified to train.
What to do if you are qualified to work with long-term conditions?
If you’re qualified to work with conditions, then you understand how to work with hypertensive clients safely. This means you can prescribe exercise and instruct these clients.
It is best to expand your risk stratification to include the PAR-Q PLUS. This form has a series of secondary questions to decipher if you need to refer to a medical professional.
If your client states a YES to the initial PARQ questions, they move on to the secondary questions. Then, if they state YES to a secondary question, then you write a letter to a GP/ consultant.
However, if they state NO to a secondary question, then you can train with this client without a referral letter.
You also need to apply considerations and contraindications to make the exercise safe. This includes:
- No isometric exercises
- No arms elevated overhead
- No anaerobic exercise
Each of these adaptations helps keep blood pressure stable throughout the exercise session. This minimises the risk of a cardiac event during the session.
How to get qualified to Train Clients With High Blood Pressure?
Become a specialist in offering health-related activity advice and supporting clients that fail a PAR-Q or have Long Term Conditions.
This is your opportunity to set yourself apart from other FITPROs, expand your knowledge, confidence, and link up with healthcare professionals.
Level 3 Hypertension Mock Questions:
Q1. Which of the following readings is classed as hypertensive?
Q2. Which of the following qualifications is needed to work with a hypertensive client?
A. Level 3 Diploma Personal Trainer
B. Level 2 Certificate in Gym Instructing
C. Level 3 Diploma in Supporting Clients with Long-Term Conditions
D. Level 3 Diploma in supporting pre and post-natal clients
Q3. What is the name of the risk stratification form used prior to exercise?
B. Informed Consent
C. Client trainer agreement
D. Fitness questionnaire
Answers to the mock questions are :
Question 1= B, Question 2 = C, Question 3 = A
If you want more mock questions like this, then you can download more Free Mock Questions: DOWNLOAD NOW
Dedicated to More
Hayley “Can I Train Clients With High Blood Pressure?” Bergman
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