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Question
Posted by: archangel | 2004/11/10

blood pressure

Hi

I workout about 2-5 times per week at Virgin Active. THey have a BP/BMI machine in hte gym, which I use pretty regularly to monitor BP etc. I am 33 years of age, and relatively fit. my BP before exercise is usualy 125-135/75-85, whilst directly after exercising, my BP will drop down to 110/50 sort of range.

is this normal?

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Our expert says:
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Hi Archangel

Yes, very normal, and it happens for a fairly simple reason. During exercise, you obviously generate quite a bit of heat, and so what happens is that the blood is sent to the skin so that you can lose some heat and keep your body temperature down. Also, blood has to be sent to your muscles, where it is needed. So, what this does is reduce the volume of blood around the heart, which is where the blood pressure is monitored and measured. DURING exercise, this is not too much of a problem, because the muscles are pumping and your heart is beating extra hard and so the blood is sent back quite easily. As soon as you stop though, the muscles stop acting and so what happens is that all this blood that was sent to the muscles and the skin takes a little longer to be pumped back to the heart and this causes the blood pressure to drop. It's not serious at all, although sometimes what you see is that people collapse at the finish line of marathons - this is just a drop in blood pressure and fainting suddenly gets that corrected. So, don't worry too much, it's something that is normal, provided you don't drop too much, and it is corrected pretty quickly.

Good luck

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