What Happens To Your Blood Pressure Right After Exercising (And A Major Warning Sign To Look Out For)

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Exaggerated blood pressure in response to exercise occurs when your systolic blood pressure reaches 210 mm Hg or higher for men or 190 mm Hg for women, even if you have normal blood pressure. A 2020 article in the European Heart Journal studied exaggerated blood pressure during exercise and found that those who had these blood pressure spikes had underlying heart issues that could point to future cardiovascular problems. This shows that some people might have vascular problems well before high blood pressure is diagnosed.

A 2015 article in The Journal of Clinical Hypertension measured the blood pressure of 82 healthy men during a step test. The men whose systolic blood pressure reached 180 mm Hg or higher had less blood flow to their forearms, stiffer aortas, and more of the angiotensin II hormone, which raises blood pressure. This indicates that an exaggerated blood pressure response can be linked to poorer function of blood vessels, stiffer arteries, and higher levels of hormones that raise blood pressure. These conditions can lead to future cardiovascular issues.

Even regular exercisers can be susceptible to cardiovascular problems later in life. Trained athletes who experience exaggerated blood pressure response while exercising are 3.6 times more likely to develop hypertension in the future, according to a 2018 article in the European Heart Journal.

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