Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1
    Space for rent
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    South East
    Posts
    278
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Cycling and blood pressure

    Well.... Genetics is catching up with me I think. I am 37, 6'2", 197-203 pounds. On a lark I checked my BP last week and it was up. 145/90 to 150/90. I dropped by the doc and we discussed it and we decided to cut back on coffee / caffiene, salt, and monitor it for a few weeks. I asked about continuing to ride and he said absolutly... However I do not think he know exactly what I mean when I say "ride a bike". For instance, I rode a 20 mile club ride last night averaging 17.7mph and had no trouble doing it. In fact, it was probrably the best feeling ride I have had this young season.

    When I say genetics, both of my parents have difficulty controlling their blood pressure and are more "fit" than the average memebr of our population. Aslo on the coffee, I was drinking 3-24ounce cups per day.... way to much.

    While I do not think of myself as stressed, I am a school teacher in an alternative school so it can become "stressfull" at times. I have some other issues with anxiety that are not exactly helping at the moment however we are working through them as well. I just do not want to overeact in one direction or the other.



    So after that long winded intro, how does heavy cycling help manage your BP if you have trouble with it? Do you take precations? What do you look for? i did not cycle during the winter and have only been back on my bike for the last 3-4 weeks so I am still getting back into the swing of it.

    Thanks for any replies...

  2. #2
    Senior Member maidenfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Portland, Or
    Posts
    570
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yeah, thats quite a bit of coffee man. Based on your height, weight and activity, my guess is exercise isnt what you need to focus on. Try focusing on your diet for a while - nothing hard, just cut out processed foods and sugars and focus lots of fresh food.
    "Others don't understand because I train every day of my life as they have never trained a day in theirs." Alexandr Karelin - the most dominating Greco-Roman wrestler - ever

  3. #3
    Senior Member SuncoastChad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Clearwater, FL
    My Bikes
    Schwinn Fred-mobile
    Posts
    252
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I drink a couple of pots of coffee a day and have no issue with BP. I'm southern and so salt is a food group, not a condiment!

    I lost 45 pounds over the last few months and have no issue with BP, cholesterol, diabetes (I'm diagnosed T2 and my last A1c was 5.6).

    I started seeing the results with the first 10% of my 221 body weight loss...I've gone from 221 to 176 and don't have to worry about losing grams on my bike after losing pounds off my ass!

    Exercise is a very positive part of my lifestyle, but losing the lard made more difference overall.
    Before hitting "Enter" or "Send" ask yourself: Is this true? Is this kind? Is this NECESSARY?
    I once had a Colnago/Campy bike built in Italy...then life caught up with me!
    Now I ride a Schwinn Beach cruiser to work!
    RIP: My friend Charles V. Beasley. We laughed until we cried over Opus and "Bloom County" in the '80s. Always remember "Pear pimples for hairy fishnuts?"

  4. #4
    2nd Amendment Cyclist RichardGlover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Cary, NC
    My Bikes
    Schwinn 2010 World Street, Handsome Speedy w/ SRAM Apex
    Posts
    1,037
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Can't help you. My blood pressure has always been good. When I was fat and unhealthy, it was about 125/80. Right now I run around 90/60.

    Losing weight and exercising seems to have helped.

    Here's a quick-and-dirty reference chart that's probably not completely useless:


    Blood Pressure Chart
    DFL > DNF > DNS
    Clydesdales: Bringing the Horse Power
    Cycling Blog

  5. #5
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Indianapolis
    My Bikes
    1990 Trek 1500; 2006 Gary Fisher Marlin; 2011 Cannondale Synapse Alloy 105; 2012 Catrike Trail
    Posts
    4,081
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Nothing wrong with telling your doc the specifics of your riding. All it can do is impress him with your commitment to exercise and fitness. Exercise, in just about any form, will be good for your BP anyway.
    Craig in Indy

  6. #6
    Senior Member gyozadude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Sunnyvale, California
    My Bikes
    Bridgestone RB-1, 600, T700, MB-6 w/ Dirt Drops, MB-Zip, Bianchi Limited, Nashbar Hounder
    Posts
    1,182
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think the exercise can help. But it could be that congenitally high BP requires you take meds too. But I would agree if your doc about doing more riding.
    Yes, I can roll my own potsticker skins!

  7. #7
    Captain Big Ring tractorlegs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Locked by the Door
    My Bikes
    The Black Knight
    Posts
    2,746
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you did not bicycle during the winter, and you've been back aboard the bike for just 3 to 4 weeks, then my guess is that the winter inactivity made it go up and now you're on the way back down. Did you monitor BP during the winter when you didn't ride?
    Forum Moderator
    Community Guidelines

    ****************************************

  8. #8
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    1,503
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I am going to go out on a limb and suggest you do some reading on paleo. Not as a diet, not that you have to follow it, but the one benefit I have found that no one seems to dispute is it teaches you to cook with almost no salt and you dont eat anything processed, so unless you put the salt into it, you dont get it.

    If you dont believe me, simply start writing down the MG of salt in everything you eat. I bet you find you are eating 4K plus a day if not 6K...you are supposed to be in the mid 2k

    I went on the diet and followed it strictly and about a month later had my annual check up. blood work and BP were all stellar.

    Now I have lost some weight from last year and am in better shape overall, so I am not sure I can attribute 100% of the change to diet, but you said you have the exercise portion covered, why not knock out the salt for a few weeks and see if it help?

  9. #9
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Whittier, CA
    My Bikes
    Specialized Roubaix
    Posts
    8,039
    Mentioned
    44 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I second the motion - I started tracking what I ate on Jan 1 this year and the thing that shocked me more than anything else was how much sodium is in everything, and the more "prepared" it is, the higher the sodium.

    There are tons of free trackers out there for food tracking, you can try one for salt for a week just to see where you are.

  10. #10
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Indianapolis
    My Bikes
    1990 Trek 1500; 2006 Gary Fisher Marlin; 2011 Cannondale Synapse Alloy 105; 2012 Catrike Trail
    Posts
    4,081
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    There are tons of free trackers out there...
    I misread that. I thought you said there were tons of free crackers out there.
    Craig in Indy

  11. #11
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    1,503
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Crackers aren't on the diet...unfortunately, that's the only bread I really miss...oh and pizza

  12. #12
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Whittier, CA
    My Bikes
    Specialized Roubaix
    Posts
    8,039
    Mentioned
    44 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Crackers are on the diet! But not free ones, and just don't eat the whole box.

    25 Cheezits per day... in my soup. Which has tons of salt in it.

  13. #13
    Senior Member TacomaSailor's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Tacoma WA & San Diego CA
    My Bikes
    Specialized Roubaix road bike, Stumpjumper Comp hardtail, Trance X2 FS mountainbike
    Posts
    249
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Good news / Bad news because I have suffered with spells of high BP in the same range you quote and exercise has a limited and confusing effect on the BP. The BP seems to be very closely tied to my weight and as I went over 55 years old the weight became much harder to manage - as did the BP - even though my exercise regime hardly diminished.

    Before I turned 40 my blood pressure would get in the 145/90 range when my weight went over 175 ( I am 6' tall and heavily built - I was a serious weight lifter until my late 40s). When I stayed under 170 pounds the BP was low normal.

    The confusing thing was that my cardio vascular conditioning hardly changed based on my running times and treadmill stress test that I have had every 5 years since 1985. My cardiovascular ability seemed to respond to exercise in the same manner - No matter what my weight or BP.

    When I was in my mid-40s to mid-50s my weight was in the 185 - 190 range. I was hard as a rock - I was running 6x7' miles four times a week, riding over 150 miles week, and playing high level competitive racquetball five nights a week. If my weight stayed below 190 my BP was 135/85 or so but above 190 pounds the BP was 150/95.

    Now I am in my mid-60s and can no longer run (seven knee surgeries and two broken legs) but ride 150 - 200 miles a week. My weight won't go below 210 and my BP stays in the 140/90 range. My cardio conditioning still ranks in the 40 year fit athlete range based on a Bruce treadmill stress tests - but the 30 extra pounds I am now carrying has slowed my climbing pace - or - my cardiovascular can't produce enough power to move that extra weight up the hills like I want.

    I use no salt in my diet and only drink 3 cups of coffee a day.

    I have tried many BP medicines prescribed by my doc - I can't tolerate any of them because they have such an effect on my heart rate. I normally maintain a 142 - 148 average heart rate on a 60 mile ride with a couple thousand feet of climbing. Any BP med I take has caused my max heart rate to drop to the mid-130 range and I just can't move enough blood to feel comfortable riding at a normal pace. My doc is a competitive runner and understands the problem but can't seem to find a medicine that controls my BP and allows me to ride like I want.

    Bottom line for me is - try to keep my weight down - minimize food/drink intake that will raise my BP - and hope that my excellent cardiovascular conditioning will offset the higher than desired BP.

    My regret is that in my early 60s I let my weight balloon from 185 to 225 as I cruised my sail boat in Mexico and drank to much beer without enough exercise. It has been an very difficult struggle to get my weight back below 200.
    Last edited by TacomaSailor; 03-14-12 at 01:28 AM.

  14. #14
    Velophile Epicus07's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    My Bikes
    Specialized Roubaix, Specialzed Allez Sport, Guerciotti SLX
    Posts
    1,028
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As other posters have said...

    Diet is very important. Low salt and low cholesterol.
    Regular exercise is great.

    If you don't have any other cardiac problems and aren't symptomatic (chest pain or dizziness etc) then you shouldn't have anything to worry about. Adrenaline does cause vasoconstriction and increased heart rate which will increase your blood pressure but provided it goes down and doesn't cause symptoms it shouldn't be an issue.
    Check with your doc.

    If you can really get a handle on this now you have a good chance of avoiding really nasty cardiac diseases down the line.
    2009 Specialized Roubaix - Long Distance Bike
    2002 Rodriguez Adventure - Touring Bike
    1996 Guerciotti PRX - Italian Steel Joy ride
    1996 Litespeed Natchez - Titanium Speed Demon (pics to come)

  15. #15
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    5,897
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Don't forget too time of day will effect blood pressure with your morning BP being the lowest time of the day. Also some herbs found in fancy, expensive but completely useless vitamins can lift your BP, as does megadosing on vitamin E; personally I don't believe in vitamins, but if you feel you must take them take only cheap generic one a day formulas, expensive megadose vitamins you end up peeing expensive megadoses into the toliet. If your diet is good there's no need to take vitamins. Having said that there has been some studies to show that taking low dosages of vitamin E can be beneficial for BP, not sure how reliable those studies are because they keep changing their minds on this stuff every 5 years or so. But the recommendation is to take 100IU of E for about 2 months and watch your BP, if no improvement switch to 200IU for a couple of months, if sitll no improvement try 400IU for a couple of months, if still no improvement forget about it! Also if your taking blood thinners or expecting to have surgery within a 2 week period you need to be completely off of vit E. Also lack of Vit D is now surfacing as potentially causing problems with HBP, because research has found a link to HBP in people from areas where winter time limits the amount of sunshine, but then as summer came on HBP dropped. But the studies also showed that people that ate well balanced diets in the winter time had no problems with HBP due to lack of Vit D. So again it comes back to a proper diet.

    But the most common causes for HBP is a diet high in fat and cholesterol; not exercising regularly or not exercising hard enough; being overweight; a family history of high blood pressure; tobacco use; caffeine; stress; some birth control medicines; kidney and hormone problems; sexual dysfunction drugs over the counter or prescription; acetaminophen; antidepressants; cold medicines; and poor sleep habits.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    cherry hill, nj
    Posts
    5,929
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    what are you eating on a normal day? How much salt are you eating? How much processed food versus unprocessed?

  17. #17
    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,921
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The biggest source of hidden sodium is frozen foods.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    cherry hill, nj
    Posts
    5,929
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Not all frozen foods. Depends on what it is.

  19. #19
    Senior Member metalheart44's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Sierra Foothills, NorCal
    My Bikes
    Holland Exogrid
    Posts
    411
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

  20. #20
    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,921
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
    Not all frozen foods. Depends on what it is.
    Of course. That's why it's so important to get in the habit of reading nutritional labels.

  21. #21
    Space for rent
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    South East
    Posts
    278
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
    Good news / Bad news because I have suffered with spells of high BP in the same range you quote and exercise has a limited and confusing effect on the BP. The BP seems to be very closely tied to my weight and as I went over 55 years old the weight became much harder to manage - as did the BP - even though my exercise regime hardly diminished.

    Before I turned 40 my blood pressure would get in the 145/90 range when my weight went over 175 ( I am 6' tall and heavily built - I was a serious weight lifter until my late 40s). When I stayed under 170 pounds the BP was low normal.

    The confusing thing was that my cardio vascular conditioning hardly changed based on my running times and treadmill stress test that I have had every 5 years since 1985. My cardiovascular ability seemed to respond to exercise in the same manner - No matter what my weight or BP.

    When I was in my mid-40s to mid-50s my weight was in the 185 - 190 range. I was hard as a rock - I was running 6x7' miles four times a week, riding over 150 miles week, and playing high level competitive racquetball five nights a week. If my weight stayed below 190 my BP was 135/85 or so but above 190 pounds the BP was 150/95.

    Now I am in my mid-60s and can no longer run (seven knee surgeries and two broken legs) but ride 150 - 200 miles a week. My weight won't go below 210 and my BP stays in the 140/90 range. My cardio conditioning still ranks in the 40 year fit athlete range based on a Bruce treadmill stress tests - but the 30 extra pounds I am now carrying has slowed my climbing pace - or - my cardiovascular can't produce enough power to move that extra weight up the hills like I want.

    I use no salt in my diet and only drink 3 cups of coffee a day.




    I have tried many BP medicines prescribed by my doc - I can't tolerate any of them because they have such an effect on my heart rate. I normally maintain a 142 - 148 average heart rate on a 60 mile ride with a couple thousand feet of climbing. Any BP med I take has caused my max heart rate to drop to the mid-130 range and I just can't move enough blood to feel comfortable riding at a normal pace. My doc is a competitive runner and understands the problem but can't seem to find a medicine that controls my BP and allows me to ride like I want.

    Bottom line for me is - try to keep my weight down - minimize food/drink intake that will raise my BP - and hope that my excellent cardiovascular conditioning will offset the higher than desired BP.

    My regret is that in my early 60s I let my weight balloon from 185 to 225 as I cruised my sail boat in Mexico and drank to much beer without enough exercise. It has been an very difficult struggle to get my weight back below 200.


    Thanks for all the replies guys!

    This above sounds a lot like me. Dropped by the doc yesterday and all my bloodwork was normal and and my BP was down a bit. Had a long talk with him and we have turned a few dials on some meds and I feel like a new person today. Tis amazing.


    As to diet, I eat very little processed food. My wife and I (due to an allergy she has with dairy) tend to pretty much make everything from scratch with the exception of a few snack items we like. While I was not getting excessive salt in my diet, I am without a doubt sure I was getting more than I needed. I have also cut out coffee. This has not been a pleasant change for my students but hey, today was easier than yesterday.


    While this was a vey small wake up, it was indeed a wake up. This is the first time I have really had to take a step back and look at my lifestyle and see that while I thought it was pretty healthy, there is always room for improvements.


    Appreciate it guys! Its in the 80s here and I am going for a ride!

  22. #22
    Space for rent
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    South East
    Posts
    278
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    I second the motion - I started tracking what I ate on Jan 1 this year and the thing that shocked me more than anything else was how much sodium is in everything, and the more "prepared" it is, the higher the sodium.

    There are tons of free trackers out there for food tracking, you can try one for salt for a week just to see where you are.

    No kidding.... I pulled out a bottle of a very nice japanese vinager the other night and was shocked that 1 tsp had 1050mg sodium in it.... Will not be eating that!

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,522
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    We don't really "watch" our diets. The reason is biking 50-70 miles a week leaves my blood pressure fine to on the low side, and it leaves my partner's in a range where he tries to pass out when he stands up. My caffeine intake is 2-4 pots of tea a day, his is about 24-40 oz of coffee a day, with 40 oz being a huge amount and a big warning sign to check his peak flow for asthma symptoms. If the asthma checks out ok, also check stress levels and the temperature... Cholesterol for both of us is ok.

    I put watch in scare quotes because we're car free, and mostly I cook from scratch. Processed food is bloody heavy! Minimally processed stuff is lighter and easier to pack. Bacon, cheese and Gatorade are our main vices for processed stuff, and all are high in salt, but also hard for most people to eat in large doses. Neither one of us is a huge fan of bread, so even tho scratch bread is really tasty, it's hard to justify. That leaves our wheat intake fairly low. Most of our starches are stuff like rice or skin on potatoes (we both would cry a lot if we had to give these up). I don't try to avoid soy just because it's soy, but neither one of us loves tofu enough to cook it at home, and if you're not going out of your way to get soy stuff, home cooking doesn't have it. We both love lentils tho, so we're pretty prone to getting veggie protein.

    Ultimately, more miles would be better for us. But that's because more miles is fun .

    If we DON'T get our miles in one way or another, we do get obviously unhealthier. And if miles aren't a basically automatic thing, we won't do 'em. So for us, car-free is the solution. Not necessarily practical without building it into your life the way we have. For us even a winter off the bike is still going to involve 10-15 miles a week of walking.

  24. #24
    2nd Amendment Cyclist RichardGlover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Cary, NC
    My Bikes
    Schwinn 2010 World Street, Handsome Speedy w/ SRAM Apex
    Posts
    1,037
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by metalheart44 View Post
    So if you only measure your BP at 7a.m. in July, it should be great!
    DFL > DNF > DNS
    Clydesdales: Bringing the Horse Power
    Cycling Blog

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •