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Is Weightlifting Bad For High Blood Pressure?

It depends how high your blood pressure is. You shouldn't lift weights if your blood pressure is uncontrolled or higher than 180/110.

Weightlifting can cause a temporary increase in blood pressure. This increase can be dramatic, especially if your intensity is too high. However, weightlifting can also have long-term benefits to blood pressure for most people if done safely. Start with light weights/higher repetitions, and then progress as your blood pressure shows it is safely affected by weight training.

Regular exercise, including moderate weightlifting, provides many health benefits, including helping to lower blood pressure in the long term.

If you have high blood pressure, here are some tips for getting started on a weightlifting program:

-Learn and use proper form when lifting to reduce the risk of injury.

-Don't hold your breath. Holding your breath during exertion can cause dangerous spikes in blood pressure. Instead, breathe easily and continuously during each lift.

-Lift lighter weights with high repetitions during your initial phases of weight training. Gradually increasing the intensity depends on the amount of time it takes your blood pressure to remain stable when weight training. Consult with a qualified professional with training in exercise and blood pressure before increasing the intensity of your program. Make sure they consult with your physician to learn the stage of your blood pressure.

-With this type of endurance-based training, you can progressively challenge your muscles with lighter weights by increasing the number of repetitions you lift (preferred method), or the amount of sets.

-If you do have high blood pressure, keep a log of your pre and post exercise blood pressure. A slight increase after weight training is not unusual, but a dramatic increase is not safe.


Mayo Clinic Hypertension Treatment Resources

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