Posted by: Vanessa | 2010/06/21

Dramatic drop in blood pressure after exercising


I''m 27 and have been gyming 4 times a week for the past 3 years or so and have noticed a dramatic drop in my blood pressure after a workout. I took my blood pressure before exercising and it was around 125 / 74 (not too sure of the second number) and then again after exercising and it had dropped to 96 / 54. I always thought that your blood pressure was meant to increase while exercising. Is this the case?

Thanks, Vanessa

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Our expert says:
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Hi Vanessa

The drop in BP is normal, though sometimes it's more than it should be. The reason it drops is that BP depends on how constricted your blood vessels are, and when you start training, your vessels dilate. So, when you measure BP after, they're still more dilated, and that makes BP lower. DURING exercise, it can increase, because your heart is pumping harder, and this is the other side of BP. So you get both responses, which makes BP relatively constant DURING training (unless your arteries and veins fail to dilate, in which case exercise makes BP go up - this is a risky situation).

So don't worry too much, as long as it doesn't drop so much that you get light-headed, this is a good thing. Exercise is a actually a really good way to treat BP problems.

Good luck

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