Blood Pressure During Exercise


Statistics by the American Heart Association shows that there are around 74 million people aged over 21 who suffer from hypertension. The medical condition has been noted to cause over 60,000 deaths every year. While these statistics can be mind boggling, it is also worth noting that exercising for between 30 and 40 minutes and at least 3 times in a week can lower the risk associated with hypertension.

Causes of high blood pressure during exercises

When at its normal, the blood pressure is usually below 120/80 mm Hg. The number 120 indicates the pressure occurring against artery walls as a result of the contraction of the heart also known as systolic pressure. The figure of 80 on the other hand is an indication of diastolic pressure, which is the pressure that occurs against artery walls between the heart beats.

Exercises causes an increase in the systolic pressure and this occurs in a progressive manner as a result of the heart trying to take more oxygen to exercising muscles. However, diastolic pressure usually remains the same due to dilated blood vessels in working muscles that causes escape of heat.

Why regular training is beneficial

When the diastolic pressure reading is 120 to 139 mm HG and the systolic pressure reading is from 80 to 89 mm Hg, the person will be suffering from a condition known as pre-hypertension. While hypertension is in stage 1, the blood pressure will be between 140 and 159/99 mm Hg. When a patient is suffering from Stage 1 hypertension , this can be marked by a drop of 6-10 mm Hg in resting systolic as well as diastolic blood pressure when the person engages in moderate and continued cardiovascular exercises,

Another form of workout that can help to reduce resting blood pressure in people suffering from stage 1 hypertension is resistance training. While the reduction may appear small, research shows that a small drop in the blood pressure will help to reduce the risk of death occurring from cardiovascular conditions.

It is recommended that you should engage in 2 to 5 session of strength training every week for a period of 20-60 minutes for each session. The sessions should be of 5 to 50 repetitions of 6 to fourteen different forms of exercises with a rest period of between 15 to 120 seconds.

Which are the best exercises?

There are 3 basic types of workouts that you can engage in.

  • Aerobic or cardiovascular exercises are key in lowering the blood pressure and can make the heart stronger. Some of the exercises that you can engage in include jogging, walking, bicycling, rope jumping, skating, rowing, cross-country skiing, swimming, and water aerobics.
  • Strength training is key in building strong muscles and can help burn calories. This is also good for the bones and joints.
  • Stretching can help you become flexible, enable you to move better and prevent injury

How often you should exercise

You need to engage in moderate activity such as brisk walking for a period of about 30 minutes in a day for a period of 5 days in a week. Where you have shortage of time, you can engage in a vigorous activity such as jogging as this will ensure that you have the same benefits as a person who is working out for a period of 20 minutes and for 3 -4 days in a week.

Ensure that you begin by warming up for a period of 5-10 minutes. This will ensure that your body becomes flexible and you minimize the risk of injury.

The next step should involve increasing your intensity. However, you should avoid overdoing it. Ensure that you can speak to someone when exercising. However if you find that you can sing, it means that you aren’t doing enough and you may require to increase the momentum.

The last step should involve cooling down. When done with exercising, avoid stopping all of a sudden. Instead, be sure to slow down for a period of a few minutes especially if you have high blood pressure.

Additional exercising tips

You can engage in exercises such as mopping, scrubbing, raking, mowing etc in your category of moderate exercises. Therefore, you will need to do exercises for a period of 30 minutes in a day and for 5 days in a week. While this will not require a lot of work, it will be possible for you to achieve when you pump in the same way you do cleaning and walking. Doing some quick bursts a few times in a day can also be helpful.


One of the things that can be very helpful to your blood pressure is to be active. However, you will need to confirm with your medical care practitioner whether there are any limits that you should watch. After exercising, your body will definitely feel tired and it can take time to get used to this feeling. However, this should not worry you as it is normal. Sweating is also normal just like breathing harder is when performing aerobic exercises. However, there are certain things that you should watch out for.

In case you feel that you have a considerable short of breath or you feel the heart beating fast or irregularly, it is time to rest or slow down. You should also stop the workout in case you suffer from weakness, chest pain, and lightheadedness, pain or pressure in the jaw, arms and neck. Seek immediate medical treatment in case the symptoms doesn’t go away or incase this happens again.