Exercise and a healthy lifestyle helps you control high blood pressure, according to the National Institutes of Health. Working out makes your heart stronger and reduces your reliance on blood pressure medication. When you exercise, your heart rate speeds up and your systolic blood pressure naturally increases as much as 10 mmHg, or millimeters of mercury. Consult your doctor before starting a new exercise routine, especially if you have abnormal blood pressure readings or an unusual heart rate.
Blood pressure is a measure of the force of your blood against the walls of your arteries and veins. Systolic blood pressure measures the pressure your heart exerts to pump blood. Diastolic blood pressure measures the pressure of blood against your arteries while your heart is relaxed. Normal resting systolic blood pressure is 90 to 120 mmHg, and normal resting diastolic blood pressure is 60 to 80 mmHg. While at rest, an adult’s heart rate or pulse is normally from 60 to 100 beats per minutes.
Monitoring Your Pulse
Monitor your pulse before, during and after exercise. After exercise, your pulse should return to its original starting rate if you cool down properly. Cool down by gradually decreasing exercise intensity for five to 10 minutes. Failing to cool down may result in irregular heartbeats and dizziness.
Checking Blood Pressure
Take your blood pressure after exercise to see if it has a normal response. Your systolic blood pressure normally will increase, while your diastolic will remain the same or get slightly lower. If your systolic blood pressure does not increase, you may have a cardiovascular disorder. If your systolic blood pressure increases more than 10 mmHg, you may have unstable hypertension, according to Dr. Len Kravitz at the University of New Mexico. Always follow exercise with a gradual cool-down period.
Seek medical attention if you experience chest pain, have difficulty breathing or become dizzy. Use caution when weight training if you have high blood pressure. Lifting weights causes a temporary but sometimes dramatic increase in blood pressure. If you have low blood pressure, exercise may cause dizziness. Reduce low-blood pressure problems by eating salt and drinking fluids before exercise, as well as following your doctor's guidelines.