Blood pressure and exercise are a complex pair. Yes, exercise is always a great habit. But, it can also spike your blood pressure.
Does that mean it’s a bad idea?
Well, it’s not that simple. Luckily, working out is generally good. Yet, some people might have to take it slow.
Today, that’s what you’re learning. I’ll explain everything you need to know.
How are blood pressure and exercise related?
Exercise increases your blood pressure temporarily. That’s because your body needs more oxygen when working out. And, that means pumping more blood.
Thankfully, everything evens out with time. Healthier people recover more quickly. So, recovery time is a solid health metric. Of course, that also means some workouts raise your blood pressure more than others.
Does that mean blood pressure and exercise shouldn’t mix?
Again, it’s not as simple. Blood pressure issues shouldn’t deter you from working out. But, some conditions might worsen the blood pressure spike.
For instance, some people suffer from exercise hypertension. They experience higher pressure spikes when exercising. Finally, your blood pressure might not go back to normal for hours. For some, it dips below the normal level.
However, exercise could lower your blood pressure
That said, working out could actively aid hypertension. Working out improves your heart health. With time, it needs less effort to pump blood.
Likewise, weight is another hypertension risk factor. Then, shedding some pounds also improves your blood pressure.
Of course, that means developing the habit is crucial.
How much is enough?
It’s not too different from general fitness guidelines. About 150 weekly minutes of aerobic activity is fine. That holds for 75 minutes of strength training.
In other words, a 30-minute daily aerobic routine can be enough. Make sure you’re taking days off to rest. You can also squeeze in 15 minutes of resistance training to complete it.
General guidelines for blood pressure and exercise
Again, working out with hypertension isn’t too complex. You just need to add physical activity to your daily routine. And, make sure you do so regularly.
The main change comes with your focus. Your main goal is to lose weight and pump more blood. In that regard, aerobic training excels.
Choose your exercise wisely
Some exercises are particularly good at improving blood pressure. But, cardio is the winner among all of them.
Another advantage is the number of options. You can walk, cycle, swim, or hike. Swimming is particularly effective.
Strength training is less important. But, it still plays a role in improving your fitness.
Keep it tame
That said, don’t over-exert yourself. Blood pressure might spike more than it should for some people. So, resting and recovering become essential.
Ideally, you should rest a day every couple of workout days. Moreover, take your exercises slow. Consider resting a few extra minutes between sets.
But, always ask before combining blood pressure and exercise!
Finally, ask your doctor when in doubt!
Some blood pressure levels can make activity unsafe. Working out could backfire if blood pressure is too high. So, always ask a professional before trying something new.
The holistic takeaway
So, should you mix blood pressure and exercise? The short answer is “yes.” But, you should always ask your doctor.
Regardless, it’s best to take it slow and see how you feel. Try resting between workout days. That way, you can see how you feel later on. Of course, it’s not as bad as actual work or stress.
Your goal is to find balance.
That’s where The Blood Pressure Program comes. It’s a complete guide to help you manage hypertension with exercise.
If you want to learn more, check out my review!