Posted by: Russell | 2005/01/12

Low blood pressure after exercise

I have been keeping fit by running and cycling. This evening I went to the gym and did a hardish 9km run (on the road, not the treadmill) followed by a spinning class.

After the class I felt very light headed. After showering I measured my BP an a machine they have at the Gym and it was 100/65. I know this is a bit low and was wondering if it is cause for concern. I often feel light headed after exercise and if I stand up too fast. Should I be worried or is this just part of keeping fit?

Both of my parents are on chronic medication for high-blood pressure, so don't think this is something I inherited :)

Thanks in advance for you advice and for a great forumn.


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Our expert says:
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Hi Russell

It's a pretty common observation, actually, and it happens because during exercise, your blood pressure rises slightly, and this happens because the heart is beating harder and faster, and when you stop exercise again, the heart rate drops pretty quickly, but all the other changes that happen take a little more time. So, blood has been sent to your legs where it is needed by the muscles, and when you stop exercise, this blood takes time to get back to the heart, and there's also this vasodilation (where the blood vessels dilate in order to accommodate more blood) and this also takes a while to drop.

So, it's relatively common, and it's not harmful at all, unless it continues to become a real problem affecting your life and you feel light headed very often.

Hope this helps

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