Does Exercise Increase Blood Pressure?

The question: Does exercise increase blood pressure? is a controversial one. Although exercise is healthy for many people, it is important to consult a physician before starting an exercise program. During exercise, blood pressure rises to push oxygen-rich blood through the body. Some people, however, have an exaggerated response and spike their blood pressure to 250 mmHg or higher. In one study, 38 men and 44 women aged 55 to 75 were evaluated. Most of the participants had mild hypertension, characterized by a diastolic blood pressure of 85 to 99 mmHg.

Regular physical activity increases heart rate, which makes the heart stronger. The increased output allows the heart to pump blood more effectively. The decreased effort results in reduced force on the arteries. In addition, increased cardiovascular output causes increased diastolic blood pressure because of poor vasodilation of resistance vessels in the skeletal muscles. This means that static stretching actually weakens performance by tiring the muscles. However, this temporary increase in blood pressure is beneficial for overall health.

There is no definitive answer to the question, “Does exercise increase blood pressure?” It largely depends on your individual body. While exercising, blood pressure should remain above the baseline level, especially during the initial phase. However, systolic blood pressure will usually rise by 50 to 70 mmHg. The average blood pressure will also increase. Increased stroke volume increases pulse pressure. This may result in an increased pulse rate.