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Lifting & Blood Pressure

Is weightlifting ok for high blood pressure?
I read several different opinions on this and am not sure what to believe. I would think that any exercise would help my bp…but it looks like lifting heavy weights might actually be bad for bp.

Some recommend high reps but low weights when one has high bp.
I am not sure what to do since my bp is somewhat high (i used to be on meds but it got low enough where doc told me to stop taking meds and to try it without)…
any suggestions?

Yes. Ask your doctor.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of the leading causes of premature death in North America. It can put a constant strain on a heart and weaken arteries. High blood pressure can also loosen deposits of fatty plaque on the arterial walls.

If a piece of this debris becomes lodged in a coronary artery that?s been narrowed by atherosclerosis, it can cause a heart attack. Similarly, a blockage in an artery that leads to the brain can result in a stroke. Fortunately, high blood pressure is almost always controllable.

The Exercise Link

One of the best ways to control high blood pressure is regular physical exercise. Active people tend to have lower blood pressure because exercise strengthens their cardiovascular system. Aerobic exercises, such as walking, bicycling, playing volleyball, swimming, jogging, dancing, or hiking, have long been linked with lowering high blood pressure.

Weights Work Too

Even a moderate program of weight training has been shown to be helpful for hypertensive people. Even though the effort of lifting weights may cause blood pressure to rise slightly, if done correctly, weight training does not increase blood pressure to dangerous levels.

The best weight training program for hypertensive people is lifting light-to-moderate weights using a number of different machines and moving quickly from one to the other. One study showed that such a program combined only with aerobic exercise had the same benefits as aerobic exercise combined with anti-hypertensive drugs. The drugs offered no added benefit to those patients who trained regularly with weights. Several other studies have backed up the benefits of weight training for hypertensive men, women, and children.

You Have All the Weapons You Need…

See also :http://www.bodybuildingforyou.com/articles-submit/joe-knight/high-blood-pressure.html

Steady wins the race


Talk to your doctor about it, if you are in doubt.

Yes anything you do will help, as long as you get a good workout, and are not afraid of sweat =)

I was at 266 with a BP of 130/80. After six months or so, I’m down to 225, with a BP of 118/70, which is much better.

I should also mention on my charts the last time I weighed 225 was around 6 years ago and my BP was around 130/80.

Most of that six months was spent lifting weights, I hardly did cardio because my legs could not take it.

About two months ago I started a cardio routine, and am doing well with it, along side lifting weights.

Here is the thing. Your body adapts to outside stress in many ways. Just as your body adapts with muscular adaptations, your body adapts to increases in blood pressure.

One of my professors said there have been SBP readings of 400 mm during heavy squats. This sounds bad but I honestly have never heard of any troubles stemming from this. Usually someone that is in poor enough shape to have blood pressure so high that lifting heavy will severely effect it cant lift enough to cause a problem any way. This is different for people who have had cardiovascular events.

Exercise is good for your heart. During lifting, yes your blood pressure will increase dramatically. Obviously. However its the period of “the rest of the day” that is more important.

If you are in terrible shape then by all means, ask your doctor. However, if you are in decent shape just stick to a diet that is formatted to your needs and continue lifting.

Some nutrition tips: omega 3’s from fish, walnuts, etc. Garlic. And any medications your doctor prescribes.

Also, reduce the amount of dietary cholesterol and saturated fats you are consuming.