Exercise And Blood Pressure 101
There is a clear and obvious link between exercise and blood pressure (as well as a scientifically proven link), one that all of us can feel when we exert ourselves physically.
It doesn’t take a whole lot of heavy lifting, sprinting, or other taxing physical movements to feel our blood pumping a little harder and a little faster. We may not necessarily know just how much does exercising increases blood pressure on our own, particularly if we don’t have a medical background, but we do know that it has some sort of impact that we can feel.
Well, not only does exercise have a huge impact on blood pressure in the moment – increasing it during and for short while after physical exercise – but it also has a huge impact on our overall blood pressure levels, too.
In fact, exercise can be used to combat chronic high blood pressure issues and help you get those numbers back under control. You’ll need to do so safely and systematically (obviously) and should only try to attempt to do so under the supervision of medical experts you trust, but the details below should give you the confidence to do exactly that.
Common Causes Of High Blood Pressure
There are a variety of different root causes linked to high blood pressure in both men and women, including (but certainly not limited to):
- Your age (older people are more likely to deal with high blood pressure than younger people)
- Your race and your genetic makeup
- A family medical history of high blood pressure
- Being overweight or clinically obese
- Not exercising on a regular basis and not being physically active
- Using a lot of tobacco and caffeine
- Consuming a lot of sodium in your daily diet
- Consuming very little potassium in your daily diet
… And that just the tip of the iceberg.
While some of the more common root causes of high blood pressure are uncontrollable (particularly the genetic issues you may have to contend with), the overwhelming majority of them can be curbed or eliminated altogether or with smarter choices regarding how you live your life on a day-to-day basis.
It’s always a good idea to implement those smarter choices ASAP to get your blood pressure under control, especially now that you know that exercise and blood pressure are intertwined with one another.
Does Exercising Increase Blood Pressure?
This is a bit of a tricky question to answer in that you could certainly say that there is a big increase in your blood pressure after exercise (the short-term, anyway) but that there is also a big decrease in blood pressure after you have been consistently exercising on a regular basis.
In the short-term, while you are exercising (and for as long as 60 minutes or more afterwards) you’re going to notice a definite correlation between high blood pressure and exercise.
Your blood pressure is going to be climbing throughout your physical exertion, working double overtime to get more blood, more oxygen, and more nutrients to the muscles across your body that need these resources most.
According to clinical research corroborated by independent teams around the world, however, you’re also going to see a definite link between low blood pressure after exercise has become a big part of your day to day routine.
In fact, you should start to see some pretty significant decreases in overall blood pressure levels in as little as four weeks or so after you have begun to exercise on a consistent basis. Best of all, the effect of exercise on blood pressure is “permanent” for as long as you continue to routinely exercise day in and day out.
Why Exercise Is Recommended For High Blood Pressure
The best exercise for high blood pressure routines you want to start implementing are those that get your cardiovascular system working at close to 100% without taxing your body or putting you or your well-being at risk because of your already high blood pressure to begin with.
This means that the best exercises are going to be walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, doing physically intense yardwork, or lifting weights. Yoga also works wonders to trigger the kind of cardiovascular activity you need to get your blood pressure back and check, as well as other low impact exercises that elevate your blood pressure levels without “redlining” your body along the way.
The most important thing you can do when it comes to blood pressure exercise is to find something you can enjoy on a day in and day out basis, create a regular routine to work on your high blood pressure through exercise, and then stick to that like glue for at least three months.
Track your blood pressure progress along the way and you’ll find that you are able to lower it significantly (usually without the help of medications, too).
Blood Pressure After Exercising
As touched on earlier, the question isn’t so much does exercise increase blood pressure afterwards as much as how it alters your blood pressure in both the short and long-term.
From a short-term standpoint, your blood pressure is going to increase during and after physical activity. That’s just the way the body works. Your muscles and core body systems need oxygen and nutrients and your blood handles the heavy lifting of shuttling those resources around.
From a long-term standpoint, however, you’ll find that your blood pressure drops significantly after you have been exercising consistently for a decent chunk of time. You’ll see big changes in just four weeks but amazing changes over a three-month, six-month, and twelve month span of time.