When you exercise, it is important to keep an eye on your heart rate and blood pressure. A change in either one may say a lot about your heart health. Exercise naturally increases blood pressure because your heart is working harder. It is not typical for blood pressure to fall after you are done exercising. Consult a doctor if you feel dizzy, lightheaded or faint after exercising.
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Blood pressure is created by the heart when it pumps blood into the arteries and when the arteries resist the blood flow. This pressure against the artery walls gives you your blood pressure number. The higher number indicates the pressure while your heart contracts, pumping blood into your body. The lower number is the pressure when your heart is at rest between beats. Your blood pressure is indicative of the health of your heart.
Because the heart is a muscle, exercise can help it become stronger and function with less strain. Exercise also keeps arteries flexible, allowing for good blood flow and normal blood pressure. During exercise, your heart pumps faster and harder to increase blood flow to muscles, thus increasing blood pressure. Your blood vessels, meanwhile, expand to release heat. If you stop exercising suddenly, your heart slows down, decreasing blood circulation and making your blood pressure fall. Your blood pressure should return to normal resting level after a recovery period.
A drop in blood pressure after exercising could be related to medication, fitness level, the type of exercise and the duration of exercise. If your blood pressure increases and then slowly decreases below your normal resting level as you cool down, there may be no problem, according to Health Central. However, lower-than-normal blood pressure during or after exercise may indicate early heart disease. Falling blood pressure may be from a decrease in blood volume, indicating inadequate blood flow from your heart.
Consult your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of lower blood pressure after exercising, such as dizziness. Other reasons for a drop in blood pressure may include not eating before working out, not eating enough or not eating the right foods because of a drop in blood sugar levels. If you have a cold or the flu, this could also cause a drop in blood pressure. Blood pressure medications or diuretics can decrease blood pressure after exercise as well.
- Health Central: Is it Normal for My Blood Pressure to Drop After Exercise?
- The New York Times: Health Guide: Physical Activity Exercise's Effect on the Heart
- American Heart Association: Blood Pressure
- Columbia University: Go Ask Alice: Is It Okay to Feel Lightheaded and Dizzy After Running?
- Mayo Clinic: Fitness: Eating and Exercise: 5 Tips to Maximize Your Workouts