I'm puzzled. BP before exercise and bp after exercise

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During the day my bp will be around 145/82 , or close to that. If I walk briskly for 30 mins. and take my bp 20 minutes later it will be really good. 115/70 . After 30 minutes of walking fairly fast , my heart rate is only 99. The cardiologist says I should try to get it to around 140. I'm 70yrs old and have had two bypass surgeries . First in 2004 then in 2010. Same arteries , the first was done with robotics. Messed me up really bad. Nerve and muscle damage. Anyway, I thought I was doing pretty good, until he told me that. After walking , my heart rate drops back down to around 75 after about 20 minutes. Any thoughts ?

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  • Posted

    Hi Portacrean,

    I think there's been some misunderstanding here. Your pulse rate should never go to 140, especially at your age. (And mine - I'm 72.cheesygrin) I suspect what your cardiologist was talking about was your maximum heart rate. This is roughly 220 minus your age, which gives a rate of 150 in your case. However, the usual advice is not to exceed 75-80% of maximum rate when exercising, which in your case gives a rate of 120 at most.

    In fact, you shouldn't be able to achieve this rate after 30 minutes of fast walking either. My own pulse rate after an hour-and-a-half of fast walking is barely above the resting rate, at around 70bpm. Even after my daily aerobic exercise - eight cycles of running very fast on the spot for 40 secs followed by 20 secs of rest - my pulse is only around 120bpm, falling to 80bpm after one minute and my normal resting pulse of around 60bpm after five minutes. And I'd like to stress that I'm no athlete!

    I also find that my BP falls after brisk walking, like yours, though the diastolic falls with the systolic staying the same after aerobic exercise - not a good sign, I'm told!

    By the way, if you're tempted to try the short, intensive cardio regime I'm doing, don't start with 40secs exercise and 20 secs rest. I started at age 70, when I wasn't particularly fit, and initially did eight cycles of only 10secs of vigorous exercise, followed by 5secs of rest. I built up very slowly from there, allowing my cardiac capacity to increase. The exercise I do is vigorous running on the spot, bringing my knees up high and pumping my arms. I do this on a cushioned exercise mat, to prevent knee and foot injuries.

    I think you're doing pretty well if your pulse is only 99 after fast walking, especially if it drops down to 75 after 20 mins.

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much. I can't do much of any kind of exercise using my arms or chest muscles due to the nerve and muscle damage. But nothing is wrong with my legs. That's why I walk for exercise. I think the nerve and muscle damage is the reason my bp rises as it does. And the walking takes my mind off it. Always painful. Can't do anything about it though , so walking has always been my best bet. I felt comfortable with 99 or 100 heart rate until the cardiologist visit. Thank again for you input. Much appreciated

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    • Posted

      I don't know if you're referring to Portacrean specifically, or people in their seventies generally, when you say "Your pulse rate should never go to 140". I'm nearer 74 than 73 and regularly have my pulse in the mid 150s and an average pulse rate, over an hour of hard cycling, of 133 to 135. My resting pulse rate is 45. My average BP, over the last 20 readings, is 100/64. It doesn't seem to alter much even after a hard ride although I realize that the medication must have some effect. The heart rate though, does take an hour or two to get back to normal. I'll be racing in 10 mile time trials next month, 30 minutes or so of intense activity and I'll expect my maximum pulse rate, and my average pulse rate to be higher than during the hour's training at present.
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    • Posted

      Hi Alexander,

      I was talking generally. You're clearly an athlete, which changes all the rules.

      There's nothing in Portacrean's post to suggest that he/she is an athlete like you, therefore it wouldn't necessarily be safe to aim for 140. I'm reasonably fit, but I wouldn't push myself beyond 120.

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    • Posted

      Sorry, meant to add - Portacrean is talking about "30 minutes of walking fairly fast" and it wouldn't be usual for anyone's pulse to go as high as 140 after such relatively mild exercise.
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  • Posted

    Hi Portacrean,

    how long does it take before your pressure goes up again?  How often do you excercise?  Did you know that researchers have found that after a certain age, people are better off with a slightly higher than a lower bp?  Google for best blood pressure for people in their 70's, or something like that.   

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    • Posted

      Things have kinda changed over the past week. I started walking 30 mins. In the morning and 30 mins. In the evening. I try to keep my heart rate around 100 for the 30mins. Been taking about 30 or 40 mins. For the rate to go down to 78 or 80. My bp doesn't go up very much while walking. My bp has seemed to stay in the 110 to 120 / 75 to 80 range all day. It only rides when I walk for 30 mins. Immediately after walking it's been around 130/ 82. Actually , I hope everything stays like this.
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    • Posted

      I hate to sound like miss gloom, but check with your doctor.  That might be too low for someone your age.  There are a few reasons, which I can't think of right now, but one reason might be that it makes you more prone to fainting. I'm in my 50's, and my target is supposed to be around 140/90.
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    • Posted

      Oh , I agree. Just saying my bp was spiking up to 170/ 98 at times. Now at least it's leveled out. Hasn't spiked in about 2 weeks. But I have an appointment in May with my gp and also with my cardiologist. But then , there's always the chance my bp machine isn't right. I have two. An older omron and a new omron. They both seem to be in the same area though. Gonna be back on here when I find out a little more , I'm pretty sure. Seems like a lot of docs. today , just blame everything on age. The easy answer. It's kinda like , ok, you're getting older so give me $150 and come back in 3 months. Thanks for being interested in my worries. I know many people are a lot worse off than me!
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