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KarlR, October 11,  2020  8:44pm EST

Blood pressure bottoming out after exercising?

Yesterday, after getting back from my bike ride, my blood pressure dropped to 80/52.  I've been trying to keep my BP in the range between 90/60 and 120/80, and while my BP varies considerably throughout any day, I've been consistently falling within this range.

While it's possible that the low BP was due to dyhydration / volume depletion, I had consumed ~32 oz. of water while out on my ride, and I wasn't feeling any other symptoms that I'd associate with dehydration.  (Since dehydration was a possibility, I upped my water consumption after symptoms occurred, since it was far more likely to help than hurt.)

Based on my time in cardiac rehab, I know that my BP normalizes rapidly as soon as I stop exercising.  This was the first time I've noticed it plunging well below normal.  (Given my lightheadedness, it's the kind of thing I'd notice even without taking my blood pressure.)

This bike ride was longer than normal.  It was 33-34 miles.  I had previously done 29 miles without having any obvious symptoms of low blood pressure afterwards (though I didn't check my BP that time).

Is this (abnormally low BP shortly after exercise) something that others have experienced?

2 Replies
  • AHAASAKatie
    AHAASAKatie, October 12,  2020  8:41am EST

    Good morning, I found some information about low blood pressure that could help you. However, I think a check-in call with your cardiologist is always the best way to make sure there is not an issue that needs to be resolved.  And congratulations on such a wonderful commitment to cycling.  I can't imagine cycling that far. I know one of our members, is a mountain hiker and does long distancing hiking. And a few others are runners. So it is possible they may have some insight for you as well. 

    Best Katie

  • KarlR
    KarlR, October 12,  2020  10:34pm EST

    Thanks Katie.  That article was useful.  Particularly the statement, "A single lower-than-normal reading is not cause for alarm."

    I'm scheduled for a regular cardiologist appointment next week.  I'll be tracking my BP multiple times per day from now 'til then, getting an idea what my new normal range is.  I might need to cut back on my beta-blocker.  But I hope to have a little more data for that discussion with my cardiologist.  I want to avoid prehypertension, but I'd also like to avoid hypotension.

    Cycling (and hiking) were some of my main motivators during cardiac rehab.  I want to be able to continue having an active life.  I'll be hiking in the mountains just after Thanksgiving (just day hikes), and I want to be able to climb 1,200'+ without tuckering out.  I've seen photos of the view, and I want to be able to see it for myself.

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