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Monitoring Blood Pressure During Training

Old 01-02-24, 06:45 PM
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Monitoring Blood Pressure During Training

Is blood pressure another metric to detect how well you are recovering from training? Or can high-intensity training raise your resting blood pressure?

This article says "maybe":

Hunter et al, Divergent blood pressure response following high-intensity interval exercise: a signal of delayed recovery?, 2019

"[W]e present a rationale supporting the contention that elevated systolic blood pressure, following a bout of high-intensity exercise, may be indicative of delayed/incomplete recovery."

The reason I ask:

Recently, I had been riding pretty hard and long for several weeks, when I happened to take my resting blood pressure. Suprisingly, it was consistently high (140+). I thought, "Uh oh, old age has caught up with me, it's time to get on the blood pressure drug bus". I took last week off the bike entirely, and I just started back with some easy rides yesterday. Each rest day, my BP trended downwards. This morning, it was down to 107/69.




I'm hoping that the high BP was caused by me overdoing the bike riding, and not the "other thing".
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Old 01-02-24, 07:28 PM
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I've found my BP drops to good numbers, for about 12 hours after a high effort ride. I asked my doc if I could just do a hard ride every day and skip the meds. He said that's not sustainable. He was right.
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Old 01-02-24, 07:37 PM
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That's so interesting. I now have a pacemaker and thus my resting and standing heart rates and my HRV are unusable for detecting overreaching. Hmm. I have a home BP monitor. I'll get more consistent with the timing of my BP reading. Thanks.
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Old 01-02-24, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by downtube42
I've found my BP drops to good numbers, for about 12 hours after a high effort ride. I asked my doc if I could just do a hard ride every day and skip the meds. He said that's not sustainable. He was right.
Yeah, you bet. A hard ride or intervals really opens one up, Floods your arteries with the good stuff.
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Old 01-03-24, 08:03 AM
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I'm a bit relieved to find out "Monitoring Blood Pressure During Training" means "monitoring blood pressure daily while training" as opposed to "monitoring blood pressure during training."
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Old 01-03-24, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Is blood pressure another metric to detect how well you are recovering from training? Or can high-intensity training raise your resting blood pressure?

This article says "maybe":

Hunter et al, Divergent blood pressure response following high-intensity interval exercise: a signal of delayed recovery?, 2019

"[W]e present a rationale supporting the contention that elevated systolic blood pressure, following a bout of high-intensity exercise, may be indicative of delayed/incomplete recovery."

The reason I ask:

Recently, I had been riding pretty hard and long for several weeks, when I happened to take my resting blood pressure. Suprisingly, it was consistently high (140+). I thought, "Uh oh, old age has caught up with me, it's time to get on the blood pressure drug bus". I took last week off the bike entirely, and I just started back with some easy rides yesterday. Each rest day, my BP trended downwards. This morning, it was down to 107/69.




I'm hoping that the high BP was caused by me overdoing the bike riding, and not the "other thing".
I am intrigued to see this. I noticed something very similar last August at the height of my training intensity. Normal BP had been around 120/70 and it I was finding systolic in the high130's-low 140's and diastolic in the low 80's. It dropped back down in October after my last event and I took a break from structured training. I was unsure of the cause and wondered whether it was the result of over doing it with sodium in response to to heavy sweating. I mentioned to my Dr during my annual physical just before Christmas and he couldnt explain it any other way. Strangely, when the BP went back down, I experienced a bump in resting heart rate of about 10 bpm, which has persisted. I wonder if this is related. I had attributed the raise in RHR to fighting a sinus infection that arose around the same time, bu tperhaps boht the infection and RHR bump were symptoms of overtraining.

For context, I noticed the elevated BP during a block of training where CTL was around 90.
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Old 01-04-24, 01:32 PM
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Here's another article that mentions high morning blood pressure as a symptom of overtraining:

"Physically, a person suffering from overtraining may have elevated blood pressure in the morning, and the rate of their pulse when walking might also elevate. This can alter the way that the person’s central nervous, immune and endocrine systems work. Someone who overtrains may feel tired all of the time and feel a loss of strength. The person may suffer from headaches, and feel tremors in muscles. A victim can get sick easier with the flu or colds, and deal with getting infections easier than before. Someone’s muscles and joints can ache, and they may suffer from feeling stiff."
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Old 01-11-24, 01:22 PM
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Follow up: I've begun noticing a high BP the morning after a high intensity ride, but a normal BP the morning after a long endurance ride.

Not enough data yet to say for sure this is a real effect, but I'll keep watching.
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Old 01-11-24, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Follow up: I've begun noticing a high BP the morning after a high intensity ride, but a normal BP the morning after a long endurance ride.

Not enough data yet to say for sure this is a real effect, but I'll keep watching.
I think you're looking at an acute response to stress. If it's really a morning thing it might be cortisol related, since cortisol levels are highest in the a.m. I assume your other cardiac markers follow the same course. I certainly wouldn't worry about it if it resolves reliably and your baseline BP is okay.

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Old 01-12-24, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha
I think you're looking at an acute response to stress. If it's really a morning thing it might be cortisol related, since cortisol levels are highest in the a.m. I assume your other cardiac markers follow the same course. I certainly wouldn't worry about it if it resolves reliably and your baseline BP is okay.
Thanks, I'm glad to learn that BP normally runs high in the morning. I've been taking it as soon as I get up.
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Old 01-12-24, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
Thanks, I'm glad to learn that BP normally runs high in the morning. I've been taking it as soon as I get up.
Yeah, but just to make sure I didn't imply otherwise, having an abnormally high BP more than occasionally, or clearly related to some external stress, is a bad thing.
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Old 01-12-24, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha
Yeah, but just to make sure I didn't imply otherwise, having an abnormally high BP more than occasionally, or clearly related to some external stress, is a bad thing.
Got it, thanks. 126/70 this morning, after yesterdays easy cruiser. So normal-ish.
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Old 01-13-24, 02:34 PM
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My Orthopedic surgeon said that my BP drops after exercise because of lower hydration level.
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Old 01-13-24, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Speedskater
My Orthopedic surgeon said that my BP drops after exercise because of lower hydration level.
So reduced blood volume, then.
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Old 01-14-24, 05:15 PM
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If your BP changes consistently after a certain type of exercise, not sure how useful that information is.

Would be far more insightful if it doesn't change the way it normally does in response to the same stimulus, as that suggests something is off/different. But I assume resting HR will already tell you that anyway.
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Old 01-23-24, 09:35 AM
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All I know is that regular riding helped me go from three BP horse pills to a half a pill/day. Tailwinds!!
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Old 01-24-24, 01:30 PM
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Regular riding helped me control my blood pressure without meds for 2 years. I got injured, couldn't ride and had to start back on meds.
My best thoughts here are to make sure diet isn't a contributing factor, and make sure you evaluate the readings properly. I know you are supposed to be sitting 5 minutes before taking your blood pressure and you have to look more at averages over time than freaking over one reading. Diet can be a huge contributor for me. I do take mine every day.
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Old 01-28-24, 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
I'm a bit relieved to find out "Monitoring Blood Pressure During Training" means "monitoring blood pressure daily while training" as opposed to "monitoring blood pressure during training."
Ive done quite a few cardiac stress tests where they do in fact monitor your BP while exercising (bike or treadmill depending on the protocol) and it gets frighteningly high!
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Old 01-29-24, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Speedskater
My Orthopedic surgeon said that my BP drops after exercise because of lower hydration level.
BS. It's called postexercise hypotension, a direct result of exercise, not connected to hydration levels. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2936915/. What you get from doctors who are not specialists in the field. Very noticeable to those of us who do a lot of exercise and take their BP regularly.

Every time a beautiful PA takes my BP, it's high. Nothing I can do about it. My normal is ~121 and I've seen it at 160. It's embarrassing. The first time this happened the doc put on a BP med. After I got my own monitor, it was obvious what was going on. I don't need a BP med. Now I warn the doc.
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Old 01-31-24, 07:55 AM
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It was a casual off-the-cuff comment, it had nothing to do with my appointment and it was about 25 years ago.
I have known his family for a half century and we have lots of mutual friends, so we spend time gossiping about them.
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Old 02-05-24, 07:45 PM
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I began worrying about my BP last summer when it suddenly began spiking to 160/90+ erratically, no apparent reason. Then it would settle back to normal later that day or the next day. In the past couple of weeks my resting BP has veered from 163/91 to 113/60 on the same day. And I double check, both arms, more than one BP cuff -- I also have an old school sphygmomanometer and stethoscope from my nursing days, but that's a pain to use solo.

I couldn't find any pattern in my diet, exercise, prescription meds or supplements, lifestyle or external factors.

Got a referral through my primary care doc. Turns out I have severe cervical spine stenosis and spondylosis, aggravated by old injuries -- primarily a car wreck 20+ years ago that fractured vertebrae in my cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. For the most part the mid and lower back haven't caused many problems but the neck has gradually gotten worse over the years... then suddenly much worse in 2023.

I'm not sure anything can be done about the BP spikes caused by nerve pressure. We tried injections to relieve pain and inflammation but those didn't help. The alternative is risky invasive surgery to expand the areas being pinched, but I'm not quite ready to try that.

My pain management doc suggested I give up cycling. I'm not ready for that either. But I am considering converting my old Centurion Ironman from drop bar to upright Albatross swept bars and seeing how that feels for casual rides around the neighborhood. Meanwhile I've set up my Diamondback Podium with a higher stem to put the bars at just slightly below saddle height. It's tolerable for 60-90 minutes. BP checks before and after rides vary wildly, no discernible pattern. I haven't taken a BP cuff on a ride to check, but I might do that this week or weekend. There's a nearby 5 mile roller coaster loop that's popular with some local riders for training. There are a few spots I could safely pull over to the side to check my BP after a hard effort on a climb or tucked for a downhill to see if there's any pattern to my BP.
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Old 02-07-24, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat
My pain management doc suggested I give up cycling.
Did they at least suggest an alternative form of aerobic exercise?
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Old 02-14-24, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Did they at least suggest an alternative form of aerobic exercise?
Nope. At the time I was jogging more than cycling, but worsening hip pain forced me to curtail that too.

I might try the nearby gym and use their stepper and elliptical machines.

And I'm still using my old Centurion Ironman steel bike on the indoor trainer. I don't need to keep my head up constantly. Terrible form but at least I can stretch and massage my neck without worrying about squirrels or errant drivers.

I'm considering converting one of my carbon fiber road bikes to a more upright hybrid. I already have a steel frame hybrid set up that way which is okay, but the frame has always been a bit too large for me. I'll probably keep another carbon frame in drop bar configuration for the occasional torture session, or in case there's some miracle cure for my neck.
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Old 02-14-24, 05:13 PM
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I have a history of elevated blood pressure. Every morning, I check my BP.

Since starting a vigorous exercise program which includes running and cycling, and an almost completely plant-based diet, my BP has improved drastically. Also, careful with alcohol consumption that can drive your BP up.

Now, Systolic in the 120's and diastolic in the 70's.
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