The blood circulating in the body exerts a pressure on the blood vessels and is referred to as blood pressure (BP). It has two values – systolic and diastolic. Systolic pressure is the one which is exerted when the blood is forced out of the heart by its pumping action and the diastolic is the pressure between two heart beats. It is important to pay attention to the blood pressure because high blood pressure can have health implications. However, the blood pressure after exercise is often high. Let us find out if that is normal or not.
120/80 mm Hg is considered as the normal average blood pressure, while the normal range is 90/60 mm Hg to 130/80 mm Hg. Depending on the activity levels, the blood pressure varies all through the day. When a person is active, the blood pressure is higher. Thus, in normal condition, the blood pressure after exercise will be high and then return to normal.
The increase in BP happens because there is an increase in the demand of oxygen by the muscles. To ensure this, the heart beats with more force so that more blood is pushed out. As the heart is working more, the systolic blood pressure increases during exercise. But the arteries dilate during this time and therefore, there is not much change observed in the diastolic pressure. If you are exercising at less than the maximum heart rate, you might even observe a slight decrease in the diastolic BP. Only at maximum heart rate, the diastolic pressure will increase slightly.
A drop in diastolic pressure after exercise that has been talked above is also normal, but it should come to the normal level later. The heart rate usually returns to normal within 2 minutes of stopping the exercise. However, it can take several hours for the blood pressure to return to normal. The resting blood pressure reduces with time if there is consistent aerobic exercise. So, it is recommended by the AHA (American Heart Association) to exercise for 30 minutes, 3-4 times a week, to control blood pressure.