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Exercise and Blood Pressure
Old 09-07-2008, 07:03 PM   #1
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Exercise and Blood Pressure

I've been wondering about exercise and blood pressure...more specifically:

My resting blood pressure, taken when I awake in the morning, is about 118/75, resting heart rate about 51-55 (taken at the same time). Then I go to the gym. A few months ago, I overdid it one day and I could tell my BP was way too high at about 155/110 or so, and stayed that way all day, finally coming down the next morning. Since then, I have purchased an extra BP monitor and leave it in the office. I have noticed that my BP does go up during/after exercise. I finished my workout about an hour ago, and my BP is about 140/100. I believe this is high by resting standards, but I'm wondering how quickly my BP should be going back to normal. It is usually back to about 120/80 give or take by about 1:00 or 1:30 in the afternoon, after lunch.

Any comments?

R
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Old 09-07-2008, 07:58 PM   #2
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I don’t know what’s supposed to happen but I don’t think my pressure remains elevated after I calm down. I’ll check for sure tomorrow after my workout.
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Old 09-07-2008, 08:01 PM   #3
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Aerobic activity consistently raises blood pressure while in is being done, to an extent that varies a lot from person to person, especially the systolic BP (first, higher number). But the effect normally drifts back to baseline in a few hours. Over the longer term, resting blood pressure is lower in conditioned people by about 5%.

Your prolonged BP elevation after exercise is atypical. It may be a normal variation, temporary elevation because you are anxious about whether it will be elevated, or related to some other problem.

While I am not sure it is worth doing if you have no other reasons, an exercise stress test will measure these very accurately and might shed some light. With the level of conditioning you describe, I would be surprised if this represents anything serious. See if your primary doctor agrees, knowing your whole medical situation.
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Old 09-07-2008, 10:50 PM   #4
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Thanks Rich and Cantlogin

Rich, thanks for the info, I'll talk to my doc next time I see him. I'm not really bothered by it at the moment (it did scare me the day that I totally over-did my workout and I have learned to listen to my body a bit more since then). (note: disclaimer fully understood).

Cantlogin, thanks, would be interested to know how you do an hour or so after you finish and a few hours later, if you have the time to check. Just curious as to how this works in other folks, wondering if I am normal...more or less. (Well, I think we all know the answer to that...)

Checked again four hours after finishing, down to 128/87, pulse 66. Of course, I am at work, have had some meetings, and nothing too stressful yet today, but not completely "at rest" either. I have a meeting with my external auditors in a few minutes, which could prove to be stressful, because of their mistakes, not ours. I'm going to amuse myself my checking my BP again as soon as they go. I did it last time they were here as well...they gave me about a 20/15 BP boost last time...

R
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambler View Post
...

Cantlogin, thanks, would be interested to know how you do an hour or so after you finish and a few hours later, if you have the time to check....
If I have the time? I'm retired. Now I have another answer to "waddaya do all day"
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Old 09-08-2008, 07:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cantlogin View Post
If I have the time? I'm retired. Now I have another answer to "waddaya do all day"
Thanks!!!

R
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Old 09-08-2008, 10:41 AM   #7
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06:00
Resting heart rate: 56
Blood pressure: 110/70

08:45 before exercise
Heart rate: 62
Blood pressure: 118/68

This is interesting because it never occurred to me to measure how HIGH I could get my bp to register. I was really eager to run this little test.

10:07 after 1:06 bicycle ride on Rails to Trails Path @ 134 bpm average and 164 bpm peak heart rate. (love my Timex monitor)

Ok, now Iím worried that thereís something wrong with me or my blood pressure cuff gizmo Ďcause my blood pressure while still breathing a little was 110/68. Heart rate after bp measurement was 89.
Maybe Iím not working hard enough.

11:07
Heart rate: 73
Blood pressure: 110/68

Iím not anticipating any real changes but Iíll check the numbers again this afternoon and report if thereís anything different.

I apologize if Iím reporting bad data.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:02 AM   #8
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Just got through mowing the grass. God is it hot. Just yesterday a hint of fall was in the air. I'm not checking my vital stats right now. I think the fried chicken is catching up with me.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:23 AM   #9
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Rambler, just curious. How could you "tell" that your blood preasure was too high? What was the symptoms or feelings?
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Old 09-08-2008, 02:45 PM   #10
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15:00
Blood pressure: 118/72

I guess I'm no help. Sorry
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flpanhandle View Post
Rambler, just curious. How could you "tell" that your blood preasure was too high? What was the symptoms or feelings?
I have a vein on my forehead (bald head ) that pops out and throbs when my BP goes up, but it only happens when I over-exert myself. Also felt a bit light-headed and exhausted the entire day. Didn't have a monitor at the office at the time, but checked when I got home that evening, and it sure enough was high.

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Old 09-08-2008, 07:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cantlogin View Post
15:00
Blood pressure: 118/72

I guess I'm no help. Sorry
Thanks Cantlogin. I appreciate the help. By the way, I finished my workout about an hour ago. I ran about 2m and walked about 2.5m today. When I got up, BP was 113/65, pulse 54. An hour after exercise today, it is 118/80, pulse still up at about 80. Avg HR was about 135 today, max about 160 on the higher speed intervals I was doing.

Thanks

R
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Old 09-08-2008, 09:24 PM   #13
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I believe a normal BP response to exercise is that the systolic (top number) goes up, while the diastolic shouldn't change too much. If my diastolic went up like yours I'd get it checked out, just to be safe.
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Old 09-09-2008, 12:58 AM   #14
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When I had my stress test, they measured the HR and BP before, during and after - your pressure and HR should go up during exercise and then 'recover' to normal (for you) soon after you stop exercising. I've always been told that the amount of time it takes to recover gives a good indication of one's cardiovascular health. However, this can be tempered with one's age, possible physiological issues (both mechanical and possibly hormonal/chemical). Rich_in_Tampa has good advice in that if you are concerned about the recovery period, a visit to a cardiologist and a stress test might be in order. Perhaps a TMIM here, but I work with cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons....their first word of advice to my 'little episode' was to have a stress test done (I believe the words were "if you don't make Ralph make an appointment for you, I will make sure you have some heart trouble :-) " ) that was the cardiovascular surgeon - just the anticipation scared the he!! out of me and probably caused some higher 'numbers,' however, as a rule out for anything untoward, it can give one peace of mind (I was fine).
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Old 09-09-2008, 07:47 AM   #15
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Heart rate recovery (HRR) is a fairly strong statistical parameter in predicting future coronary disease. Problem is that the procedure never got formazlized and thus varies a bit from study to study.

The common theme is that from the time of peak exercise (90% or so of predicted maximal for age), the heart rate should drop at least 12-18 beats per minute during cool-down (e.g. 2.5 mph walking) after 60 seconds, or 22-42 beats per minute reduction at 2 minutes after stopping peak exercise. These are people who have no symptoms of heart disease, and the risk of future trouble is double in people who don't meet those criteria (though still quite low in an absolute sense). I hasten to add that this is just one factor to look at, and many people will "flunk" this measurement even though they have no coronary disease, and many others will "pass" even though they do have early coronary disease. Even things like a very hot or humid environment will mess this up.

More than for most diseases, decisions about how much to test, when to intervene, and screening measures are highly individualized for coronary disease.
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Old 09-09-2008, 06:59 PM   #16
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Thanks Rich, SG and Deserat. Decided to check HRR this morning, which I did several times. HHR recovery was consistently within the figures Rich gave, about 18-20 for 1 min and 37-40 for 2 min, after taking HR to 90-92% of theoretical max. It is interesting to me though, that my BP remained a little high until after lunch on Monday, and most of the days I checked last week, but today, as yesterday (its Wednesday morning in my part of the world), my BP has recovered quite well. My "upon waking" BP was 113/65 with HR of 54 this morning, and now 45 min post workout I am back down to 118/78, which is about where I am when I am calm but not totally at rest. HR is still on the high side at 80. HR has been slowly settling back to the 65-70 within a couple/three hours. Of course, exercise is not the only thing that plays into HR (stress, anyone?)

I think my heart is realtively healthy, but with my weight too high, stress too high, and periods of being not much more than a couch potato, I know it could be healthier. I'll keep watch on it and talk to my doc when I see him in a couple of months to see what advice he has for me. (I do get a formal check-up every year, which turned up some intestinal issues last time, but no heart issues).

The goal here is:

1) Be healthy enough to enjoy FIRE in a year or two, and
2) Get my physical condition in good enough shape so that
a) I get accepted for private medical insurance, and
b) The cost of private medical insurance does not require a re-think of the
definition of the FI part of FIRE.

Thanks again to all who have donated comments.

R
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Old 09-10-2008, 08:17 AM   #17
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In my senior year of college I took a physical for the Air Force. The Tech took my pulse, 52. He then said 'Hop on one leg ten times' took it again 52. 'Hop on one leg 10 times again', 52. I ask him what was suppose to happen. He said it should go up about 10 beats. I told him I was running 17 miles a day, and I doubt my heart even knows I am awake. He wrote down 62 and said move on.
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