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Can Low Blood Pressure Affect Muscle Endurance?

author image Van Thompson
Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.
Can Low Blood Pressure Affect Muscle Endurance?
Hypotension can leave your muscles feeling achy and weak. Photo Credit: Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Public health outreach campaigns frequently focus on the negative effects of high blood pressure, which can include an increased risk of premature death due to heart attack or stroke. While low blood pressure can offer some health benefits, if your blood pressure is below 90/60, you have hypotension. Hypotension can interfere with your muscles' ability to work effectively, and may make exercise more challenging.

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Hypotension: Blessing or Curse?

A variety of factors can affect blood pressure, and some extremely physically fit people experience a precipitous drop in blood pressure. If you're a fitness buff and your blood pressure has been steadily declining, it might not interfere with your muscular endurance. Your doctor won't treat your condition unless it causes symptoms. But endocrine and cardiovascular system problems, dehydration and pregnancy can all cause your blood pressure to drop, so if the decrease is sudden, talk to your doctor. Some people also experience a drop in blood pressure immediately after exercise, but this won't interfere with your endurance.

Issues With Muscular Endurance

When you exercise, your blood pressure and heart rate increase to supply your muscles and organs with oxygen-rich blood. Very physically fit people's bodies might not have to work as hard to accomplish this goal, resulting in lower blood pressure. But for many people, if blood pressure is too low, the muscles can't work as well. You might experience, fatigue, muscle pain, weakness or a tingling sensation in your muscles.

Other Hypotension Concerns

Hypotension won't affect only your muscular endurance; it can also affect your overall endurance. People with low blood pressure are more vulnerable to dizziness and fainting, which can interfere with your ability to work out. You might also experience difficulty breathing, extreme thirst, confusion, blurred vision or cold and clammy skin. These symptoms can also occur with other disorders, so talk to your doctor rather than assuming they're a result of low blood pressure.

Treatment Options

If your blood pressure is too low for you to safely and comfortably exercise, your doctor may prescribe medications or change your current medications if you're already on prescription drugs. Increasing your salt intake can also boost your blood pressure. Until your hypotension is under control, avoid suddenly standing up, which can cause fainting, and drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout.

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