Too much and excessive exercise

Hi all!

First of all, thanks for taking the time to read my post and some really nice members on here too :) Keep up the good work!

I have been diagnosed with high blood pressure (150/102) and been requested to come back to see the doctor to take blood pressure tablets in a couple of weeks. I was too scared to take blood pressure tablets, as I have young kids and have been told once you start taking the medication it is a downward spiral from then onward.....

I've never really exercised all my life and/or eaten healthy. I've really enjoy eating take away's and actually love them, KFC, McDonalds, Indian takeaways etc etc.... I wish I could be like one of those people who their chin up and say how unhealthy takeaways are, but I unfortunately love them and for me they are super delicious.

I went into the GP 3 weeks ago weighing in as 103kg and go scared regarding the blood pressure tablets as both my parents are unhealthy with high blood pressure, so started excising and eating healthy so my blood pressure has dropped with my weight which is now 98kg.

Sorry about my long post, but my question is that the NHS BMI calc and bodytrax machine at the gym says I'm 28kg or 4 stone(ish) over weight. I normally alternate a 2 hour (cardio) exercise everyday at the gym, either 2 hour swim, on 1 hour run and 1 hour uphill walk everyday at the gym as I have found out i have a high stamina range, as someone who was never interested in exercising or sport. Is this too much or excessive exercise in too short a space of time? Or is there no such thing as too much exercise? I was thinking once my blood pressure and BMI get down to safe levels i cold gradually reduce the exercise to bare minimum enough to stop any future weight gain..... but don't really know what I am doing and just trying this method as too shy to approach people as I have a big belly & feel so over weight.....

thanks for reading anyway & cheers for any tips!!!! good luck to everyone in your weight loss and healthy lifestyle goals!!!

Cheers, Khan

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31 Replies

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  • Dear Khan98kg. I really think that you should get your GP's advice as it sounds as if you've gone in at the deep end with the exercise rather than building up gradually. The best thing you can do to immediately improve your blood pressure is to give up salt.

  • Thanks for your reply Applebelly, I love salt especially on my fish and chip Fridays. I've switched to (Pink Salt) instead, am told it is from the himalayan mountains. Sounds like a fancy name for salt and don't mind the colour pink as long as it tastes nice and helps lower blood pressure. But giving up the salt is hard as most packaged items in Tesco's including herbs and spies contain salt :( & not pink salt or healthy salt. This all gets really complicated for me, but thanks for the tips!!!!!

  • Himalayan Sea Salt is the latest fad. It is no better than ordinary salt (and no worse).

    If you want a healthier alternative then all supermarkets sell a low-sodium salt, where potassium chloride replaces some of the sodium chloride. But don't use it on everything as too much potassium isn't good for you (indeed, too much anything isn't good for you).

  • Thanks for the tip Eaoz. Goosh was not aware pink salt was not any different to normal salt! I'll look out for the low-sodium salt when at the supermarket next. Thank you again for such lovely advice and best of luck reaching all your goals :)

  • Please be careful using low sodium salt. I changed to it and ended up with potassium levels which were much too high.

  • Thanks for your input wa2un7. This salt and (bp) seems to be a minefield. Looks like it just seems best to stay away from salt altogether..... :( Thanks again for the input..

  • hi. I was in a similar dilemma in Dec and had blood tests to determine why my bp was high but no reason found for my high bp except the family history. At the time my.bp was 160/98...

    I am now taking tablets and my bp is now usually around 125/80 now... I have also lost 1stone since Dec and I now exercise daily.

    I've had no ill effects from taking the tablets except 1 day when my ankles were swollen.

    I'm 45 and currently weigh just under 18st.. i have 3 kids and they are my world.. reducing my BP is my main motivation for losing the weight so that I'm around longer for my family.. I totally understand the concern you have about going on tablets as I had the same thoughts as I don't take any other medication and felt I was 'getting old'.... but I got some good advice from this forum at that time as well and I'm so glad I did as I don't think about the tablet now and just take them in a morning as part of my routine and I know they are doing good and potentially saving my life !

    Im still going to try to lose the weight but it won't necessarily mean I will come off the tablets due to my genetics but I'm going to give it a bloody good go and continue with my healthy lifestyle of eating well and exercising more..

    Good luck x

  • Hi Claz, such a lovely response. Amazing to see how many people such as yourself on the forum in the same or similar situation as me. A special thank you again for sharing your experience with me and thank you so much for the support. I wish you all the best and know once (YOU WILL) reach your ideal weight for your kids, your (bp) will be back to normal without any help.

    I see your (bp) became amazing 125/80..... with the help of tabs and I too love the kids especially my 12 year old little girl, but the (bp) tabs scare me as my partner seems against them and says you'll never get off them if you start and is warning me :( I'm in a bit of a dilemma and at 44 years old, I want to do the right thing. I know I have been selfish by eating takeaways about 3-4 times a week in secret when the kids are at school or no ones around watching & really indulging myself (sorry), but was hoping by exercising and not eating all these takeaways and eating more healthy and stopping my favourite tea and biscuits every evening I might get away with it.

    It sounds like your (bp) tablets are not to be feared, but did you find they were addictive and can you stop anytime, does your body become reliant on them?

    Congratulations on you rapid (1 stone weight lost)! Do you think it is childish thinking to wait longer whilst the weight comes to the correct BMI to see it that works instead of (bp) tablets. Since being a child or as far back as I can remember I have always been overweight and all the NHS BMI and gyn BMI technology is new to me, so never ever imaged I was 4 stone over weight. I would just hide and not look at the mirror, made sure the kids ate well not like dad and ate their left over overs and chocolate for breakfast to keep me going for the morning school run. I know (sick) you must think, but mornings and getting the kids ready for school and a healthy breakfast was a priority before me. I'm babbling on now sorry, but well done on such a huge 1 stone weight loss! and keep it up you can do it! You have my vote anyway! :)

    I don't know much/zero about (bp) tablet but this forum seems the right place to start and perhaps not to be so afraid of them :) Thank you.

    Again good luck with your goals, you (WILL DO IT) as your already blessed with three kids! and sure you'll have many grand kids to look forward too!!!

    (Fingers crossed for you) :)

  • I got pre-clampsia with all 3 of my pregnancies and the doctor said that was a sign that I would develop high bp earlier in life. The Dr hasn't said that losing weight won't get me off the tablets but I've come to terms with it a bit more now and accepted that if I can get off them brilliant but if not then it's just got to be part of my life now. I did ask him "is this me on tablets forever now" and he said "NO.. but all the exercise you are doing to lose weight raises your blood pressure so if it's already high then it will go higher"... so i would definately talk to your DR as mine said I shouldnt do HIT until it was under control...

    Obviously try to lose the weight to see if you can bring it down naturally but my advice is don't turn down the tablets if weight loss isn't helping and use the tablets whilst you continue to lose weight.

  • Thanks Claz for all the helpful advice. I'm really learning a lot from this forum and plucking up the courage to try and to come to terms with this health issue. Just ran off to take my (bp) and it is currently 161/96 :( maybe I'm making things worse as I'm a born worrier, but think I will be visiting the GP again shortly the more I understand the dangers of a high (bp) and that the GP is not such as bad person as I'm am told by my wife that they give out tabs just to get you out of the door. (sorry, I know i'm 44 but acting really silly, just always been well and kinda scared as not ready to die yet......... but with all these complex stuff of (Systolic/Diastolic) reading ranges, it may be a bit late for me and I'll just have to start off with tabs with a view to coming off them one day.......... Thanks again for your input and again for all the kind advice :)

  • Hello khan98kg and welcome to the weight loss forum ☺

    The first place to look is at the Pinned posts section to the right of your screen (bottom if you're using a mobile), read the Welcome Newbie thread first and move through to the challenges, where we hope you'll find at least one that will appeal to you ☺

    Move down to the Topics, to find a variety of threads, collated into specific topics for ease of access and we ask that you also 'file' your own threads, so that others won't miss your important news ☺

    Have a look at the NHS 12 week plan, as many people have had success with it. Also use the BMI checker to find your target calories, it's important to eat enough. With regards to your question about exercise, diet is more import don't I'm afraid. The best workout you can do is in the kitchen 😕

    The forum also have group weigh-ins every day, but they are quite busy. If you wish to take part Sunday is the quietest day but you are welcome to join any day. The threads can always be found in the Events section, to the right of the 'home' page, or at the very bottom (after all the posts) on a mobile.☺

    We've found that to get the best out of this community, we need to be active on the forum, as it's where we exchange information, get motivation and inspiration and make friends. We hope that you'll join us here, regularly, too ☺

    You'll notice a grey box next to people's names, these are achievement badges, and as a new member you may have a 'Newbie' badge. If you have any questions or would like a Newbie badge please just ask ☺

    Best wishes

    Anna

  • Thanks for the tips and pointer Anna! Yes, a newbie badge would be great thanks! :) hope I might be able to help other forum members too whilst trying to get out of my high (bp) dilemma \ confusion..... Thanks again for the tips and advise.

  • Done ☺

    Enjoy the forum and I hope you get some answers ☺

  • Thanks Anna!

  • Hi! I was diagnosed with high blood pressure 3 years ago! A lot higher than yours and am now on 2 tablets a day to regulate it. I'm 48, 5'2 and now a healthier 11st 7! I was 14 st! Have been eating healthier since end march last year! At last blood pressure check I was told if I continue to lose weight and exercise (I walk between 3 and 5 miles a day with a class or 2 each week) they will consider taking me off one of my meds! So it's not always a downward spiral...far better to go on the medication now as you will be more at risk without them.

    Take the exercise easy and get advice from your GP. With the amount of exercise you are doing, you are likely to build up huge amount of muscle. And we know what happens to muscle when you stop exercising...

    Wish I had your stamina...and good luck!

  • Hi KarenC68 and thank you so much for sharing your experience with me! Well done on getting to 11st 7 too! Again, I think I my still be learning, childish or plan stupid. But as your at such a good weight 11st 7 what are the (bp) tabs still used for...... how do you know you still need (bp) tabs if you reach your ideal weight and eat healthy?

    I was thinking of seeing the GP and taking the (bp) tabs secretly without telling my wife (silly i know) and then stopping once I reach my ideal BMI weight. Maybe that sounds really stupid to you (sorry), but from an experienced user of (bp) tabs, do you think it is childish of me to think like that as a general rule if you get to an ideal BMI range and eat healthy, you can just stop the (bp) tabs or does the body become kind of addicted to them...... sorry about all the questions, I am told I worry too much :(

    I only run and swim at the moment for really long periods, muscles are not my thing never have been, never will and I think at the rate I'm going I will be becoming a think (stick) by the time I get to my ideal BMI range. It is more to do with the love of my kids to try and and get a bit longer out of life to enjoy them grow and being happy :)

    Thanks again for all your tips and pointers and good luck staying healthy! So, lovely to have had a reply from such a wonderful person :)

  • I have 6 monthly reviews for my blood pressure including kidney function and bloods! As far as I know this is routine. The meds regulate your blood pressure. If you are being advised to take them do so...they will start at low doses and build up if needed but you are at increased risk of stroke and heart attack if you don't if I am being brutally honest. But i'm sure you've already been told this.

    I don't add salt to meals (except chips!) or when cooking and haven't done so since my son was born some 21 years ago as this stops the body absorbing nutrients or so I was told then! I do however smoke too! Big no no! 😊

    Do tell your wife though! If your GP thought you could control your BP with exercise and a healthy diet that's all you would have been recommended to do. All these things will help too and hopefully in time you will be in a position where you don't need the meds. It's that thought which is keeping me going on my journey of a healthier lifestyle.

    Biggest tip: stop worrying! It will put your bp up! 😉

    You clearly love your family...take the meds and go from there!

  • Again Karen, I'm blessed to have had such a straight forward and lovely reply from a beautiful person such as you. May all your goals and dreams come true :) Thank you......................

  • Pink salt is just the same as ordinary salt as far as your BP is concerned. Reduce your salt intake and try not to eat ready prepared food. Truly your tastes will change and after a while you won't miss the salty taste at all. Good luck.

  • Thanks for that Grannynise! Will do, wish I joined the forum earlier with so much help and advise forum members have been providing. Thank you, thank you and thank you! warmest regards too........:)

  • Some thoughts from someone who isn't an expert and doesn't get enough exercise - because I'm disabled.

    1. The NHS recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week to stay healthy. I'm not sure that doing almost that amount every day is a good idea. You may have the stamina but if you're not used to that level of exercise you may do more harm than good in the long run.

    2. Congratulations on the weight loss, but I suggest that you take it more slowly. The excess weight will have stretched your skin. Rapid weight loss can leave you with unsightly folds of skin and you may have trouble getting the NHS to do an operation to remove it. Slower weight loss gives your skin a better chance of contracting.

    3. Salt is salt, no matter what colour it is. Try Lo Salt if you're worried about salt intake.

    4. Don't give up takeaways completely, if you enjoy them so much. Allow yourself one occasionally, but only occasionally. Make it a treat, not a regular thing.

    I envy you the ability to do so much exercise in one session. I can barely manage one hour of exercise in a week! Congratulations on making the effort to get your weight down. Good luck for the future.

  • Thank you for such kind words CheerfulDragon. Your amazing words of advice and others on the forum are slowly starting to educate me.

    I think anyone can accomplish anything, live life to the full if you can! I found the more you persist at exercising the better you get (it seems to be more of a mind and building your will power up). The exercise which I'm doing is just cardiovascular which may be doing me more damage than good. To be honest the weight loss is not as important to me at the health issue e.g. staying (alive) for the kids, I suppose they are part and parcel of the same package (weight loss+health eating=health).

    Life is so short and it seems to fly by, by the blink of the eye. I think I have abused and neglected myself for too long and health issues now arise because of it. It looks like (bp) pressures are very important and I may be gone by next month is I remain scared to take (bp) tablets for my high (bp). I suppose we have to be grateful for the life we do have and live every day like it was our last, but with taking care of yourself you can enjoy each day with a better quality of enjoyment than just living for the sack of living :)

    Thank you again for such lovely advice and may all your goals, dreams and wishes come true. Life's so short, so live it well by always looking after your mind, body and soul :) Thank you again for taking the time to right such a lovely reply. God bless you :)

  • I feel your pain khan98kg. When I was on maternity leave, I developed a secret McDonalds habit that I hid from my partner. I hadn't eaten McDonalds for years and I actually prefer Burger King anyway, so I'm not even sure how it happened! With the takeaways, how about you cut down gradually, say one less a week, until you have it under control, rather than going cold turkey and making yourself miserable? You'll soon find it easier to say no to them. I make my own Indian curries and they are really tasty. Never been able to replicate a proper chippy though!

    About the exercise - it does seem quite a lot for a beginner, but it all depends on you. Are you having lots of aches and pains afterwards? That could be a sign that you need to cut down a bit. Remember to factor in one or two rest days a week to let your body recover and repair your muscles.

  • Thanks for your reply lismcl and words of wisdom. I do have a few aches and pains after, but the Sauna and steam room soon sort that out & they charge enough for the membership, daylight robbery! (but said to myself, you can't put a price on health, given that i have neglected my own health for most of my life). Not sure if steam room\sauna is just masking the aches/pains or just relaxing the muscles as I am all ready again the next day & was hoping it would reduce my high (bp), but alternate one day run and one day swim..... As for rest days I did not think of that and your totally right, I'll keep a few rest days in mind each week, if my (bp) health gets any worse for losing weight and eating healthy. My biggest hurdle is my worrying too much about my (bp)..... been advised not to worry keeps (bp) more stable, so fingers crossed well soon see if I pop off sooner rather than later of the next few months......... Thanks again for the tips and God bless you :) may all your dreams come true, life only too short.....

  • Hi khan98kg, I don't know enough about your problem with high BP to comment, but do know that you will get lots of encouragement and advice from this forum. I agree that you can cut the take-aways down gradually. You could also take a look at the Hairy Bikers Fake-aways and make your own healthy ones. How about taking your wife to the Doctors with you so he/she can explain the necessity of taking the medication to her, I always feel it's better if somebody hears something first hand. Keep posting and good luck.

  • Hello lucigret and thank you for taking the time out in your day to replying to me(much appreciated). Thank you also so much for the hairy bikers tip, I love them and the cooking they produce :) However, since my raised (BP) I think I'm going just back to basics for me with fruit and veg, and grilled chicken and fish. I can't really cook to save my life and now that is going to be true with a drastic change of diet(God help me!). So, I am just sticking to easy stuff now, like I just bought an "Acrifry" from Tesco's on offer at £104.00 and started doing all my veg in it. Mushrooms come out fantastic, juicy and tasty on it. Also tried tinned red beans on it and most of them exploded (a complete disaster). Trial and error I suppose.

    Took my wife with me on the original GP visit which was the problem in the first place as the GP wanted to re-book me in to follow up, but my wife insisted she would make the follow up appointment and for him not to get concerned. When we got home, she was more like of the idea pharmaceuticals make money from GP's giving out pills willy-nilly and scientific studies to prove raised (BP) not an issue more of a business for them, you probably get my drift where that one went with her(sorry), so her herbal remedies idea's for now (what ever that means, garlic, Hawthorn tea etc etc) hence the hard work at trying to turn my life around at the Gym and lots of fruit and veg....... I'm rambling on now, but thank you again for the advice and maybe in a couple of weeks if I'm not dead by then :( I'll check how my high (bp) does against a hopefully better BMI and see if it has helped otherwise kids without a dad and I'm hoping my wife is aware of that too and not making a stupid error in judgement against my GP.

    Thanks you again and so nice of you to take the time to read all this :) Hope your like has a lot more luck and wishing you lots good health for the future. God bless.

  • *Correction, it is spelt "ActiFry" :)

  • Hi Khan,

    just read your post. The thing that strikes me most about your post is that you need to think about making changes to your lifestyle that you can keep going indefinitely so the weight stays off.

    It sounds to me as is the amount of exercise you are suggesting isn't sustainable in the long term and, unfortunately, your love of takeaways needs to be taken in hand too if you are to keep the weight off. I was 16 stone and 5 feet tall when I first started going to my gym, but the staff were great in advising me what to do so don't feel embarrassed to talk to them; they'll be happy to help you. Find exercise that you like - experiment with different classes, gym sessions, long walks, swimming - the list is endless. Exercise shouldn't be just about burning off calories or eventually you will stop doing it and then you are back to square one.

    Could you set yourself a goal of eating, say a maximum of 3 takeaways a week. Plan ahead by getting the nutritional information online before you order and avoid the most calorific options, choosing the healthiest options that are available; I love takeaways too and this has worked for me. I eat out about 5 days a week, but I'm very careful about what I choose and always stay within my daily calorie limit.

    I agree that giving up salt helps with blood pressure and when I did it, my weight loss also speeded up for a while; don't know if there was any connection between the two.

    Good luck x

  • Hi kalahuchi and thanks for all the tips and pointer. All the forum members on this forum are so lovely, helpful and supportive. It does not even sound like I may have just been lucky, you all sound like such genuine and lovely beautiful members :) A BIG THANK YOU TO YOU AND EVERYONE!

    They have this "boditrax" machine at our local Gym, boditrax.com not sure if its a gimmick and a money machine, but it is the first time I have used it and is says I should be 70.5kg in weight and not 98kg! so only 28kg to lose, and I have no idea how hard that is to lose, just doing it for health to stay alive and not for beauty reasons :) But I've set a goal to reach my ideal BMI. Not sure if metobolic age means much to you as it means nothing to me(again first timer) but is says my metobolic rate is that of a 59 year old and I am 44 years old. Maybe or maybe not that may have something to do with my raised (bp) and only time will tell.

    Friday nights were always takeaway nights in our house (indian was the best) but now I tried cooking chicken cubes dipped in Indian spices on the "George Forman" and burnt my tongue. Again trial and error, but one thing over these couple of weeks going without takeaways I've learned is that you SAVE A FORTUNE! pays for Gym membership on a positive note. I'm concerned going cold turkey with the takeaways, but again (SALT) content, my (BP) is high and just trying to avoid salt is a mission at the supermarket, let alone our local Indian and Chinese.

    You never really know what your missing until you delve-lope a health problem, so I suppose it will be more about learning to cook and re-educating oneself. If I have time, before my heart goes pop!

    I am absolute rubbish at calorie counting, as have never dieted before, but good on you and you must be amazing knowing how to sort your calories out. As it must have been a challenge, WELL DONE!

    Thanks again for giving me time out in your day. May all your goals, dreams and hope come true :) God bless, Khan :)

  • Regular two hour daily workouts will soon lead towards fatigue, particularly if the body isn't accustomed to them.

    Unless you happen to be in the latter stages of half/full marathon training, two hour workouts really aren't necessary.

    When attempting to lose weight, in addition to reducing daily intake (to create a calorie deficit), the key is to gradually increase the intensity of cardiovascular exercise, thus, encouraging the uptake of glucose and fat.

    In doing so, not only does increased intensity of cardiovascular activity improve levels of fitness, it also improves insulin sensitivity, by regularly depleting glycogen reserves in the working muscles.

    As such, the complex carbohydrate eaten after exercise (provided it's not excessive) is used to replenish depleted reserves and is less likely to be stored as fat.

    I'm not necessarily talking about HIIT, I'm simply suggesting increasing level of intensity by a level or two for 60-90s, recovering at your usual pace for same period, before repeating the process for as long as you're able (up to a maximum of 40 minutes).

    Aim to perform cardio intervals twice a week, with steady state cardio exercise initially lasting no longer than 60 minutes, as you seek to improve endurance (rest and recovery is just as important as exercise).

    However, since swimming is of interest to you, research the Total Immersion method, since, it's an effortless way to glide up and down the pool.

    Simply type in Total Immersion or Terry Laughlin on YouTube and a host of videos will emerge. His Total Immersion book can also be purchased in Waterstones (that's where I bought mine, continuing to use it as a point of reference).

  • Wow! thanks for the info. MrNiceGuy and your advice. I was very surprised to see the Total Immersion technique, as surprisingly I already do a very similar technique but combine it with waterproof headphones too to get over the boredom of the 2 hour long sessions and to mentally relax :) I don't often see swimmers in the pool I swim in doing this technique and they tend to stick to breast stroke for relaxed swims or shorter sessions of front crawl combined with breast stroke, maybe that's what they prefer or just not aware of the techniques like Total Immersion.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm no expert on swimming by a long shot or even front crawl for that matter, just that since a very young age I know how to slow down and relax breathing to be at one with the water pretty much similar to the Total Immersion technique which allows one to keep swimming effortlessly and endlessly unless boredom kicks in :( One could probably swim the English channel using this type of technique as long as you know how to relax when swimming front crawl and slowing down breathing.

    For me, reduced calorie intake is not a priority as it is to eat well enough to try and reduce high (BP). Not sure if I'm making any sense, but for me calorie intake seems to be more of a by product when trying to eat healthy (reduce salt, sugar, caffeine) intake for my high (bp) and increase fruit and veg intake like never before!

    You diffidently make an amazing point on fatigue and very worrying for me, as I have much to learn and I would like to thank you again for sharing such crucial information which might just be the death of my goals in my search to lower my high (bp) and stabilise weight into the green area of my NHS recommended BMI if that makes any sense..... well have to and see.

    On another note, have been trying juicing too to try and detox. I've seen some of your tasty dishes cooked and also love the Marmite, beans and sausages dish too!!! Just that health issues seem to have changed my life, as I've got older and now having to look at life & food from a different/new perspective. I'm probably rambling on now(sorry) my wife tells me I tend to talk too much & can go off topic, so forgive me :)

    Thanks again for all the advice, have a great weekend and hey keep in touch! life if too short, I may be able to throw in some pointers too whilst I try to detox my life away from death(fingers crossed).

    Cheers, Khan!

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