High Blood Pressure and exercise


Is it safe to do intense workouts with hypertension?

I am a 26 years old male. I am overweight. I use to be an athlete but discontinued for about 6 years. In the meantime, I developed hypertension. Since last year (about 7 months now) I am taking medication, namely 10 milligrams of losartan on the morning.

Recently I started sports again (karate - requires rigorous workouts) I lost some weight and am feeling better after a month of training but a doctor friend told me that I should avoid doing intense cardio because of the hypertension issue.

Stats - BP is 130/85-90 now (after talking pill), use to be 140/90-100 before I resumed working out.

Weight 82KG; Height 5'6"

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Answered by:
Deepak Anvekar

Welcome to e health forum.

Physical exercise is actually good for chronic diseases like Hypertension.

Regular aerobic exercise can lower your resting blood pressure by 10 to 15 mm Hg for the systolic (top number) and by 5 to 10 mm Hg for the diastolic (bottom number)

Lifting light weights that take your muscles through a range of motion can be an ideal part of a workout routine if you have hypertension.

But, Some types of exercise, such as very heaving lifting, can increase blood pressure. When a person is performing an isometric exercise, which is holding a weight or resistance in one position without moving through a range of motion, the blood pressure will rise.

Performing strength / resistance exercise using a weight that can be lifted 10 to 15 times without breaking the form or holding your breath. The exercise should be dynamic, meaning one that has a range of motion. Breathing throughout the exercise helps to control the blood pressure. Try breathing in when you are doing the easier motion of the exercise and breathing out when doing the harder motion.

When you exercise, your systolic blood pressure will increase above the resting rate to make sure your working muscles get the blood and oxygen they need. Your diastolic reading may stay the same or go lower than its normal, resting rate.

The blood vessels dilate during exercise, and when the exercise is done, the blood vessels tend to stay more relaxed or dilated after, thus creating less resistance for the blood flow and reducing how hard the heart has to pump the blood throughout the body.

But if your blood pressure climbs to dangerous levels during exercise, you may not notice any symptoms. The same is true about high blood pressure for a person at rest.

In case of a hypertensive crisis, patients may experience symptoms such as a severe headache, shortness of breath, severe anxiety or nose bleeds.

Muscle and joint pain or increased fatigue may be signs of overdoing the workouts. Muscle pain from overuse will gradually go away. A sharp and sudden pain is often a sign of injury and a signal that you should stop exercising immediately.

Hence starting gradually and exercising with some supervision may be the best approach to exercising with hypertension. And if you can keep moving every day, you may make great strides in lowering your blood pressure.

I hope this helps.


Thank you very much for the reply. It helps.

One more thing, if my blood pressure (resting) returns back to 120/80 (or close to it) should I stop taking my medication? Becuase after a month of exercise, my blood pressure now is decreasing. Thanks again.

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