As a personal trainer I monitor the progress of everything from your body measurements and weight to your energy level and blood pressure using detailed tracking tools, so I can tell exactly what’s working – and how effectively. High blood pressure can be really dangerous when you are working out. Also, certain blood pressure medications (beta blockers) can cause an inaccurate heart rate reading (too low) so pressure is seriously important.
So what is blood pressure? Blood pressure is the force exerted by the blood on the walls of the blood vessels. The job of the heart is to pump the blood around the body, first to the lungs to collect oxygen and then the blood returns to the heart to be pumped around the body.
How is it measured? The blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). A blood pressure reading has two numbers for example 120/80. The first number refers to the systolic pressure – this is the peak pressure in the arteries when the heart first begins the contracting phase of the heart pumping (in this case 120). The second is called the diastolic pressure – this is the minimum pressure which occurs near the end of the relaxing phase (in this case 80).
Blood pressure and lifestyle; Blood pressure varies constantly particularly in response to various lifestyle factors like stress, fitness level, and the health of your arteries.
Poor nutrition, smoking and lack of physical activity can all lead to deterioration in your arteries where a plaque-like substance builds up on the inside of your arteries and makes it harder for the blood to get through. This in turn increases the pressure on the walls of the arteries as the blood tries to squeeze through a reduced space. Regular physical activity can play a very important part in helping your heart (and body) work more efficiently.
If you have high blood pressure, your doctor or nurse may suggest that you try to become more active to lower it. However, you may be worried that regular exercise will increase your blood pressure to dangerous levels.
It is true that physical activity (exercise) will cause your blood pressure to rise for a short time. However, when you stop the activity, your blood pressure should soon return to normal. The quicker it does this, the fitter you are likely to be. Most people with high blood pressure should be able to increase their physical activity levels quite safely.
You should not start any new activity without consulting your doctor.
Take care of your heart, it´s the only one you´ve got!