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  1. #1
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    Blood Pressure Question

    I've been doing more hill training in prep for ride events this fall. My night-time blood pressure has been running pretty high days of training, ranging avg. of 170/110. I can only imagine what the reading would be in the middle of a hill climb. I'm afraid it may be dangerously high.

    My morning blood pressure readings have been in the 130's/80's, with a pulse of avg. 64.

    I know it's time to visit the family physician, and I also know he's probably going to put me on BP medication.

    My question is: does anyone here ride while on BP medication. And, if you do, are you still able to enjoy your riding? Or have you had to make changes in your riding while on medication?

    This will be the first health-related medication that I have ever had to take.

    I don't have anyone else to ask these questions to, so I thought I'd try the group here.

  2. #2
    Happy Rider
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    My Dr. put me on altace several years ago. BP runs in the family. I have noticed ABSOLUTELY NO ill effects from the altace. The good side is that the dull headaches stopped when I started taking the altace.
    Bike to live, live to eat!!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Old School's Avatar
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    Don't be shy to see a physician for expert advice -- maybe he/she will be 50+ cyclist as well! Others may be able to answer your question about riding while on BP meds, but you may want to start with a look here:

    http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/S...blood-pressure
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW! WHAT A RIDE!"

  4. #4
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Do you have readings from before you were training hard? If the BP is going up at the same time as training intensity increased... the two might be related.

    Take a couple days off if that's the case and see if it goes down. If it does, you are training too hard.

  5. #5
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldcrank View Post

    My question is: does anyone here ride while on BP medication. And, if you do, are you still able to enjoy your riding? Or have you had to make changes in your riding while on medication?
    I've been taking BP medication for several months. In fact, my doc recently changed my meds because the other one wasn't working as well as he had hoped.

    I have found there was NO impact on my riding. Of course, that has to be tempered with the reality that I ride a white bike, but even factoring that out, I'd say (based only on MY experience) you probably have nothing to worry about. Good luck!
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  6. #6
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Some BP meds can negatively impact your ability to exercise. If you take them, pay attention. I got switched a couple years ago and the new meds really screwed up my riding.

  7. #7
    Peddlin' Around Detroit Motorad's Avatar
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    While the Daughters of the American Revolution sing in the background: I must admit that my high blood pressure dropped quite a bit when I abstained from alcohol. My high BP was not totally because of the alcohol, but in concert with stress from work, and medical history such as high cholesterol. On the other hand, my high BP was not totally because of the high cholesterol, but in concert with alcohol and stress from work.

    My physician's advice to abstain from alcohol preceded his eventual warning to begin a (lifetime?) prescription for high BP medicine. Long story short, abstaining from alcohol has lowered my BP. Perhaps coincedentally, my physician has taken me off of Pravachol (cholesterol medicine) about a year after I began abstaining from alcohol.

    Motorad's work done, he stepped off the soap box, and rode off on his Saluki.

  8. #8
    SNARKY MEMBER CardiacKid's Avatar
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    Talk to your Dr. about this, but with the right medication, it shouldn't be a problem. I imagine the Dr. will want to encourage you to keep exercising. I think biking is more beneficial for your health than medication to treat borderline high blood pressure. It seems pretty strange that your bp is so much higher at night.

  9. #9
    Badger Biker ctyler's Avatar
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    I've been on BP meds for 6 months due to renal artery stenosis and it has had no affect on my cycling.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    I think that BP going up during a training period indicates overtraining. The most important piece of advice I ever heard about bike training over 50 is to get plenty of rest. It works.

  11. #11
    lunatic fringe Dogbait's Avatar
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    I have been taking Lisinopril for several years and notice no adverse effects on exercising. Please see your Doctor soon. Together, you will be able to find a solution that allows you to continue to exercise.

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    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    I'm on a bunch and have been for 10+ years. They've been swapped around a lot, trying to find the right combination. Some, at first, really jack up the fatigue but you adapt over a couple, few months. The only one I will NOT take before a ride is a diuretic. Don't need that kind of grief. I can't say they've stopped me from doing what I want to do. In the end, surprise, it might be that the most effective treatment has been and year and a half of steady riding.
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  13. #13
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorad View Post
    ... My physician's advice to abstain from alcohol preceded his eventual warning to begin a (lifetime?) prescription for high BP medicine. Long story short, abstaining from alcohol has lowered my BP. Perhaps coincedentally, my physician has taken me off of Pravachol (cholesterol medicine) about a year after I began abstaining from alcohol. ...
    Since I am a lifelong abstainer, I cannot comment on the empirical effects of alcohol on my own BP, but as I have reported before, what worked very well for me was to lose a little weight and to embrace a permanent low-fat diet. I was already on a low-sodium, high-calcium regimen, which helps some people with elevated BP.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  14. #14
    Senior Member wrafl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldcrank View Post
    My question is: does anyone here ride while on BP medication. And, if you do, are you still able to enjoy your riding? Or have you had to make changes in your riding while on medication?

    This will be the first health-related medication that I have ever had to take.

    I don't have anyone else to ask these questions to, so I thought I'd try the group here.
    I'm on BP meds and don't think it affect my riding. Bike riding actually helps bring down my BP. Side effect,
    LSD, but other meds I'm taking along with BP pills contribute to LSD.

  15. #15
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    Thank you all for the replies. This is my third day of rest and my afternoon BP was 124/82. So I think this recent switch over to riding hill country may certainly be overtraining, as someone stated above.

    I switched over to the hills two weeks ago. Most of summer has been flats. I travel to the area (60 miles round trip by car) to do training there, since the event will be held there in Sept. (a relay triathalon).

    I'm on my oldest daughters relay "team". I hate to pull out on her, but I'm afraid that this course may be too difficult for me with the climbs . . . at 224 pounds.

    Live and learn (as they say). Perhaps next year I'll (1) get weight down considerably, and (2) begin training on the course earlier in the summer.

    Thanks again. Good to know that the meds aren't that bad . . . I'll keep a close watch on the BP, and head over if this is certainly a health, rather than over training, issue.

  16. #16
    Senior Member tizeye's Avatar
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    I just recently started on BP medication. Too the BP for 2 weeks prior to the first appointment, always around 2:30 PM and averaged 150/90. Repeated same 2 week recording of BP for the one month follow-up and adveraged 125/70. However, on days I biked (or mowed the lawn) noted the BP dropped as low as 99/70 when taken around 2:30. Have experienced no problems while riding a bike.

  17. #17
    Old Fogy
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    I was on a diuretic and two other meds. Last year, I would run out of leg on hill climbs. I felt my heart rate was very slow. My regular doc moved out of the area, so when my prescriptions ran out, I went to different one. He did an EKG, and found my pulse was 39. Way too slow. Took me off one med (Toprol) and increased the dose of the other. My performance increased drastically, and so did my heart rate. Now, nine months later, I'm wondering again, as my BP drops to as low as 94/42, an hour after a hard ride. Still 124/84 first thing in the morning, though. I don't go back to the doc until November, does anybody else think this is unusual? Should I be worried? I feel great!

  18. #18
    Don't Bug Me mantis's Avatar
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    Oldcrank,
    Just my .02, but I would see a doctor. You didn't mention any family history, and if you have any that could adversely impact you, all the more reason to do so. 170/110 on a BP monitor would scare the heck out of me, and it could mean that you are getting that reading at other times of the day when reacting to stress or whatever. I know you mentioned that you were going to try and lose weight, and that may help, but it also may not. I wouldn't wait to find out if it helps, personally.

    I went to a doctor about my BP and the highest numbers I was ever recording were around 148/87, but I have family history issues, and my doctor put me on 10mg of Lisinopril per day. My BP is now around 132/72 and it falls lower if I do a strenuous ride before I take the reading. I have had zero ill effects, and I have been on it over three years now.

    Don't be afraid to do it. After you see a doctor, I'm sure you will wonder what your hesitation was in the first place.
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  19. #19
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    I think you are going to get all sorts of responses - I have. I was placed on BP medication (Diovan) about 4 months ago. I immediately felt the effects. My legs felt heavy. I couldn't get my heart rate up to a performance level. At times, especially if I was working hard my blood pressure would plunged down very low and I almost passed out. It's 4 months later and I'm feeling better but I can tell my performance is still effected.

    I asked the doctor about it and his answer made sense. My body was used to working with high BP and now it needs to get used to a lower BP. He says give it 6 months. OK I will.

    My BP, BTW was never as high as yours. It generally was 135-145/80-90. It's now around 120/70 so the medication is working. I have also noticed that my heart rate went up. It before was between 55 - 65 and now is around 70 - 75. Makes sense as my heart needs to now pump more to get the blood out and circulating.

    But anything is better than a stroke. I rather have my performance effected and still get to ride than struggle each day to speak and walk.

  20. #20
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    Since I started this thread late last summer, my blood pressure had shot up to 195/116 after the New Year. I was immediately placed on Lisinopril, and was told to get my weight down below 200 pounds if possible (I had blown up to 230). I am happy to report that I have lost 32 pounds (currently 198), my blood pressure is at 110/68 with a resting heart rate of 57, and my doc has said that he will begin to take me off the meds with my June follow-up if my numbers stay as good.

    I have been smoke-free for two months now as well.

    I had been walking twice a day throughout the winter months, and just started riding again at the park. I do feel a little "sluggish", perhaps from the Lisinopril -- but that's fine, no complaints. Fortunately, no major side effects from the Lisinopril at all (like the famous cough).

    I thought I would add this post to the thread in case anyone does a search for blood pressure posts. Yes, you can continue to ride -- and enjoy your rides -- after starting medication. It may not always be as if you're 20 years old again. But, since we're not 20 years old anyway . . .

    I told my doctor that I feel a little more fatigued after a ride now. He said it's called "being 52".

  21. #21
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Very good improvement. Well done.
    Any single B/P reading is meaningless but an average in the range you reported should trigger a conversation with and checkup by a healthcare practitioner.

  22. #22
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldcrank View Post
    Since I started this thread late last summer, my blood pressure had shot up to 195/116 after the New Year. I was immediately placed on Lisinopril, and was told to get my weight down below 200 pounds if possible (I had blown up to 230). I am happy to report that I have lost 32 pounds (currently 198), my blood pressure is at 110/68 with a resting heart rate of 57, and my doc has said that he will begin to take me off the meds with my June follow-up if my numbers stay as good.

    I have been smoke-free for two months now as well.

    I had been walking twice a day throughout the winter months, and just started riding again at the park. I do feel a little "sluggish", perhaps from the Lisinopril -- but that's fine, no complaints. Fortunately, no major side effects from the Lisinopril at all (like the famous cough).

    I thought I would add this post to the thread in case anyone does a search for blood pressure posts. Yes, you can continue to ride -- and enjoy your rides -- after starting medication. It may not always be as if you're 20 years old again. But, since we're not 20 years old anyway . . .

    I told my doctor that I feel a little more fatigued after a ride now. He said it's called "being 52".
    The hardest part of being 52 is understanding way down deep that your 52!

    It's good to hear that your begining to beat the blood pressure bug. After quitting smoking and loosing that much weight, your doctor may in fact be able to reduce or stop your meds. (no one can promise that, but it is not uncommon). Your performance on the bike will certainly improve. As one who quit smoking, I can safely warn you.........watch out for a weight gain coming up. Its not the snacky food instead of smoking you have to worry about..........its a general lowering of your metabolic rate that may happen without the cigaretts. You may not be able to eat as much as you used to.

    The bike will help that too...................

  23. #23
    My other car is a bike TruF's Avatar
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    Well done, you! Impressive changes with wonderful results. Keep it up!
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