Coaching a Client With High Blood Pressure and Difficult Clients

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Your client has high blood pressure. They are concerned about what the result of doing physical activity will be on their blood pressure.

What steps do you take as a fitness and health expert to make certain that people are exercising in the safest way possible? What is the best way to create an exercise regimen beneficial for blood pressure levels?

In this article, we discuss the fundamentals of coaching someone with hypertension, from the fundamentals of the disorder to the best workout methods to bring your client’s blood pressure to a healthy amount.

What Is High Blood Pressure?

The phrase “blood pressure” suggests the amount of pressure inside the arteries, which are tubes in the body that transport oxygen-supplied blood from the heart to other parts of the body. A blood pressure reading consists of two numbers:

  • Systolic blood pressure (top number): This represents the pressure in blood vessels when the heart contracts to push blood into the arteries throughout the rest of the body.
  • Diastolic blood pressure (bottom number): This represents the pressure in the vessels when the heart rests between beats when it’s filling and relaxing.
  • High blood pressure (i.e., hypertension) is defined as anything above 140/90 mmHg.

The results of having too high blood pressure can be devastating if it is not treated properly.

Specifically, hypertension can cause a variety of potentially serious complications, including aneurysms, heart attacks, kidney problems, dementia, metabolic syndrome, and even an earlier death.

Fortunately, your customer does not have to give up hope in their battle against the situation.

Living healthier by getting the proper amount of rest each night, moderating salt in their diet, and avoiding excessive drinking are all habits that may assist your client in decreasing their blood pressure. Oh, and then there’s exercise.

Take this 2013 study, for instance.

Investigators discovered that elderly individuals who are inactive and did aerobic workout regimens decreased their blood pressure by an average of 3.9% for systolic and 4.5% for diastolic–effects similar to those of particular blood pressure drugs.

Best Exercises to Lower Blood Pressure

Your client should be engaging in moderate physical activity for optimal health. But which type, exactly? The following five exercise routines have been scientifically proven to reduce blood pressure: _____.

Brisk Walking

Frequently viewed as an exercise of lesser quality, brisk walking is actually beneficial for overall health.

According to The Framingham Heart Study, for every 1,000 steps taken daily, your customer’s systolic blood pressure can reduce by 0.45 points. A 2013 investigation featured in the Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology diary confirms this.

It was determined that individuals who went on brisk walks on a regular basis experienced a decreased chance of getting hypertension by 7.2%, a lowered risk of high cholesterol by 7%, and a 12.3% lower risk of being afflicted with diabetes.

Brisk walking not only assists in controlling their blood pressure over time but can also lift your client’s spirits. A 2018 research paper concluded that merely a 10-minute stroll was enough to bring about greater levels of pleasure.

That said, the keyword here is “brisk.”

As a general guideline, your client should be able to maintain a brisk walking speed of about three miles per hour. Using a fitness tracker is an uncomplicated means for your customer to evaluate their walking velocity. If they don’t have a walking-related device, they can always get one of the many walking applications like Fitbit Mobile Track, Google Fit, or Strava.


Swimming is a beneficial form of aerobic exercise for the majority of people, especially for those that have joint problems. It is a low-impact activity, much like brisk walking, that can be enjoyed by many.

But what about its effects on blood pressure?

A research paper from The American Journal of Cardiology published in 2012 reported that swimming for three to four times a week for a period of twelve weeks caused systolic blood pressure levels to drop by an average of nine points.

There is also an idea that the hydrostatic pressure acting on one’s body while swimming can help with blood circulation enhancement.

And the cherry on top?

Swimming strokes that are executed correctly can cause rhythmic breathing, stimulating the Parasympathetic Nervous System in your client’s body, and bringing about a feeling of relaxation.

Swimming could have a positive effect on one’s stress levels, thereby decreasing their blood pressure. Through the instilling of a feeling of relaxation, the physical condition of your client could be improved.


What is an appropriate workout for someone with elevated blood pressure levels? Cycling.

Check out the 2017 study in the Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research if you need evidence. Results of an investigation showed that blood pressure levels came down significantly in people who had been participating in cycling activities for a period of six months.

A 2016 study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association showed that adults aged 40-60 years old that rode a bike to work had lower chances of being obese, having high cholesterol, prediabetes, and high blood pressure when compared to those who did not.

Your client does not need to face the unforeseen road conditions that come with biking outside to gain the advantages of being healthy.

Indoor cycling is a workable choice, in particular for those who work a standard Monday-to-Friday job and don’t have any time in the daytime to go for a ride. This can be done in your own home with gym gear or at the gym.

Tai Chi

In order to provide background, Tai Chi is an old Chinese practice that was created in the 13th century and is now commonly accepted as a gentle physical activity.

Take a look at how Tai Chi is done, and you’ll notice that the motions are carried out in a slow manner, matched with long inhalations and exhalations.

Sound familiar? Tai Chi has the possibility of stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system of your customer, which can decrease stress and thus reduce their blood pressure.

But wait. Where’s the evidence?

In a 2003 report published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, it was uncovered that when individuals took part in Tai Chi practices over a period of 12 weeks; it led to a noteworthy alleviation of blood pressure levels (a drop of 15.6 mmHg in systolic blood pressure; a decrease of 8.8 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure).


Yoga is similarly remarkable to Tai Chi since it unites the valuable benefits of contemplation with physical exercise. Therefore, you can be certain that it can also reduce your blood pressure.

Research agrees. A study conducted in 2003 determined that people over the age of forty who had been practicing yoga for five years had lower blood pressure and pulse rate than those who had not.

A study published in Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2011 showed that doing yoga for 12 weeks could significantly bring down 24-hour systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels for people not being treated for their slightly elevated blood pressure.

5 Powerful Strategies for Working with Difficult Clients

Dealing with those who appear completely unenthusiastic, antagonistic, and obstinate can pose a challenge to even the most seasoned fitness professionals as well as novices in the field of coaching. Rather than giving up, these are five methods to address the most common coaching complications, such as difficult customers.

Scenario #1

“I can’t connect with this person. It’s like we just don’t get each other. No matter how often I try to tackle their problems, the outcome is always the same.

Forming a bond with customers and aiding them to be victorious depends on uttering suitable words, in accurate ways, at the appropriate moments. It isn’t necessarily instinctive, however, it is something you can gain knowledge of.

Creating these links requires developing and honing your teaching approach, expression, and hearing skills.

It is crucial that coaches make the switch from emphasizing the negative to emphasizing the positive.

Much of the fitness industry is based on “awfulness”. Tough-minded, defiant coaches assess your mistakes and vehemently demanding you to address them. Loud, aggressive, adversarial… and not great for long-term progress.

Awesomeness is pretty much the opposite of awfulness. Coaching that centers around greatness enables a coach and their client to collaborate and commend any progress made as they build on the strengths already possessed to achieve fitness and health goals.

Coaching that is centered around achieving greatness is rooted in a concept called “client-focused” coaching. We aid our customers in recognizing their drive from within and encourage them to take responsibility for making a change. Then, we solidify their decision with clear, actionable solutions.

Becoming an awesomeness-based coach can take practice. Giving advice without first taking the time to ask questions can impede successful connections with clients. However, by utilizing the principles of this approach, one can begin forging stronger connections with their clients. And you’ll coach them to better results.

Scenario #2

“My client complains a lot. They express how awful things are, how much it hurts, and how dejected and wrecked they are. I try to maintain a cheerful outlook on life, but it seems to have the opposite effect.

If your customer is unhappy, attempting to placate them with cheerfulness and optimism will not create a meaningful connection. They’ll dig their heels deeper into their own misery. We call this “The Positivity Trap”.

Remaining relentlessly optimistic when clients are facing difficulties (because going through changes can often be challenging) can be detrimental to forming a connection and mutual understanding.

Adopting a different lifestyle is full of both ups and downs. The lows aren’t something to gloss over or ignore. They’re actually an important part of the change process. Unless you understand and empathize with what your customer is encountering, you will come across as unconcerned and unaware.

That doesn’t mean wallowing in misery. That refers to taking the opportunity to listen to any conflicting feelings that the person may have. To identify with it. It is likely you have experienced something similar in some part of your life.

The optimal way to ensure that your customers stay on the right path is to be open to all the different emotions that come along with making alterations. Hear it out before moving on.

Scenario #3

“My client isn’t following my instructions. They’re unmotivated. I’m beginning to question if I should dismiss them.

We have been able to recognize that people fall into three distinct types after having worked with over 100,000 people, each one requiring its own individualized approach to coaching.

  • Type 1: Low compliance.

Struggles to follow the program.

  • Type 2: High compliance, low results.

Follows the program, and gets below-expected results.

  • Type 3: High compliance, high results.

Follows the program, and gets above-expected results.

It is remarkable that all three categories can accomplish remarkable alterations. Nevertheless, they all suffer hardship in expected intervals unless they are advised correctly to correlate with the most advantageous manner for their category. (Yep, even ‘high compliance’ ones.)

Examine the list of clients you have and think about which ones could be put into the three different groups. Start guiding each kind according to their particular requirements.

Scenario #4

I’m providing my customer with the most up-to-date workout and nutrition plans that I can, but they continue to run into obstacles and lose motivation.

Most skills are developed from other, more essential skills. Without a solid foundation, we cannot master more advanced concepts.

An example of an effective Olympic lift like the snatch requires a few components like having good mobility in the ankles, knees, and shoulders; having core strength and stability; and having coordination of the nervous system.

This is the reason why new (and sometimes even experienced) exercisers find it hard to perform the Snatch correctly. They have not devoted sufficient energy to studying and utilizing the basics.

This applies to all parts of health and well-being: diet, coping with stress, rest, and so on.

It’s simple for trainers and nutritionists to overlook that all of the instructions they give to clients are based on cultivating certain expertise.

Think about something as simple as “eat breakfast”. Your client needs to be aware of what to consume for breakfast, where they can obtain such foods, how to make those dishes, how to alter their timetable to fit the extra morning cooking, etc.

If we do not take care of the basics and go right to the larger tasks, the base we build for our clients is shaky and more likely to be unsuccessful.

By exploring the abilities our customers are developing more in-depth and comprehending the customs that will assist them to create those abilities, we can construct a strong base.

Scenario #5

My client has initial enthusiasm but shortly thereafter, the drive for success dissipates. They do not fulfill the promises or desires they make.

Ahh, the catch-22. A customer who is full of ambition appears to expect a lot initially. Then you give it to them. And they crash.

You must be knowledgeable as a fitness and nutrition professional. It is usually counterproductive to give a customer too many things to modify simultaneously when it comes to achieving lasting progress.

Regardless of how pumped up customers may be to start the project, facing a lot of stuff simultaneously starts off a lifestyle and mental cycle that very few people can successfully handle. No matter how determined a customer is, they frequently feel exhausted, off-track, unimpressed by the results they have achieved and like they want to quit.

Experts have estimated that if someone attempts to switch one action at a time, their odds of maintaining that routine for over twelve months are higher than 80 percent. If they attempt to manage two behaviors simultaneously, their probability of success is less than 35%. If they aim for more than three behaviors, the likelihood of success reduces drastically to less than 5%.

Rather than giving multiple modifications at the same time, begin with one.

Divide the changes into strategic steps that your customer can gradually learn and incorporate into their routine. They don’t have to be small. However, they should follow our 5S criteria.


Happier Healthier Life