Blood pressure is defined as the force that blood exerts upon the walls of the blood vessels within your body. It’s used as a measurement tool for determining cardiovascular and circulatory health. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease and other conditions. High blood pressure is caused by a variety of factors, including diet, weight, genetics, daily stressors, and level of physical activity.
Bodybuilders and powerlifters are especially susceptible to high blood pressure, or hypertension. The heart and blood vessels cannot tell the difference between a 300-pound muscle man and a 300-pound obese man when it comes to pumping blood – it’s a great deal of extra work no matter what. Diet also comes into play. Bodybuilders consume a great deal of calories each day, including a high level of fats, which do contribute to higher blood pressure. Lifting extremely heavy weights also contributes to higher blood pressure.
Ready to take the plunge into improving about your own blood pressure? First off, you should have your blood pressure tested. As far as specific numbers: 120/80 used to be considered normal, but recently some doctors have lowered that a bit. People who are in top physical shape will have lower heart beats a minute rate, something between the low 40′s and 50′s. Some take this as a sign of good blood pressure, but this is not always the case. Some people think that by working out often will make the heart stronger, thus lowering blood pressure. But this also is not always the case either. A strong heart does not always mean there is no danger from high blood pressure. Many bodybuilders have high readings and do not know it. Take a look at some of the top pro and amateur bodybuilders. Their faces are often beet red, even when at rest.
Suppose you test higher. That 160/80 would be considered in the “red zone” with regards to high blood pressure – with a greater pressure/force the passing blood extends against the blood vessel walls. The top reading would be of more concern to a doctor. There is no perfect reading, as each of us differs. Family history, mental stress, drinking/drug use, weight, and other factors all have a bearing. High blood pressure is pretty easy to control these days with medication. Whatever your reading, keeping an eye on your blood pressure is a way to ensure you have a long, healthy life. Don’t wait – get tested today!