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Athletes blood pressure and resting heart rate, what are your numbers?

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Good Monday to you all..

So I donated blood the other day, and they always check your blood pressure and heart rate before you can donate.  My numbers seemed a little strange to me, so I was wondering what some other people's are, especially those that exercise regularly. 

My resting heart rate was 62 bpm (sitting in a chair, don't know how much that matters), and my blood pressure was 126/54.  The reason I am concerned is that everywhere I look it says that a systolic bp of over 120 is considered prehypertensive.  And the optimal number for diastolic is 80!  So why am I high and low?  Does that mean anything?  I am scheduled for a complete physical in a couple of weeks so I can ask my doctor then, but I was wondering what other people's numbers are..just to get an idea.

Any volunteers?

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120/80 usually. and 74 bpm resting.

i just had 2 cups of tea, so...:)

 once i was on a road-trip and had been sitting on my duff all day (4 hours in the car, yawn) and we stopped at a pharmacy so while i waited i checked by bp. it was 130/60 and a heart rate of 91 bpm!! the machine was accurate, as the pharmacist checked his and advised that i go to the doctor the moment i got home. i guess sitting in the car all day then the walk around the pharmacy had my numbers all wonky, but i felt fine.  after a little rest, i checked my bp and it was fine. 

what were you doing before and after your appointment, and have you ever had readings like this in the past? if you are curious, i would suggest taking a bp reading every day for a week and averaging it... or taking a few bp readings in a day to see how you normally fluctuate. your doctor will clear up your concerns certainly during your physical~ 

Thanks for the reply! 

 Hmm well I hadn't really done anything before this appointment, I got up, had my usual oatmeal and fruit for breakfast then went to the clinic.  It was really cold so I sort of jogged from my car to the building (less than 100 ft), but then I was inside sitting for about 20 minutes flipping through a magazine before they ran the test. 

I get complete physicals roughly once a year, just depending on scheduling, but my doctor has never expressed any concern over my blood pressure. 

I do roughly 70-75 minutes of high intensity cardio every day, so I wasn't that surprised that my resting heart rate is on the lower side.  I know that athletes tend to have lower RHR's.  But I didn't know if they are supposed to also have different blood pressure readings, which is why I am asking for people's. 

110ish/70ish and my resting HR is 49-51

BP can be very odd sometimes.  I'm sure your doctor will bring it up if there is an issue.  FWIW, my resting HR has gone down from about 65 to 49 over my past few years of working out, but my BP has not changed much at all, even when I've had it read within an hour of working out.
My numbers are wacky because high BP runs in my family, so I won't put them here.

The guideline for healthy BP is currently 120/80, but they are considering lowering it to 115/70, I believe.

A one-time reading of 126 is nothing to worry about. Everyone's BP goes up sometimes depending on what they're doing, if they're stressed, etc.  And lower than 80 isn't bad, in fact, it's good - as long as it's not *too* low.  I'm afraid I don't know what constitutes way too low.

Check out this site for more info on BP and what the numbers mean:
yeah high blood pressure runs in my family too, which is part of the reason I am concerned.  I looked at a couple of charts online, they were sectioned off into ranges, and I couldn't put my numbers into a range, because they were too far apart, lol.  I will check out that other website though.  Thanks!
Best thing to do, especially if it runs in your family, is to talk to your doctor and see if he has any concerns.

Also, I ordered a cuff BP checker from Amazon for about $30 and use it randomly to check my BP.  I read some articles and the cuff ones are as or more accurate than the arm ones they use at the doctor, so it's a reasonable way to check.

If you get one of those, you can check yourself at home for while - every day for a couple of weeks or something - and that will tell you if your BP is really going up overall, or if it was just a fluke.

Well worth $30, I think!

Yeah I think I want to get one of those things..but I'll probably wait until I talk to my doctor.  Thanks again for the suggestions!

Still wondering if any other athletes want to post their numbers?

I don't know if the term athlete applies since I don't really follow a sport, but I work out very regularly. Last time I donated blood I had a resting rate of 60 bpm. My blood pressure was 100/56. The place I donate also tells you your total cholesterol (no breakdown though)- 158.

I completely agree with the previous posters and that your blood pressure can be affected by a lot of factors. Repeated checking over a period of time is a much more accurate. A lot of pharmacies have a blood pressure machine, good place to check for free.

My resting hr is 54 my bp is anywhere from 113/72 to 136/80  - I sometimes have high reading at the dr due to what they call "white coat syndrome"  you know beingin the drs office itself can raise bp!!

If it goes too low I pass out.  I do try to watch my salt intake and find this does help keep it in the 120/72 zone.  My bp is lower at night before bed.  If I've had a salty food intake within 24 hours it will be higher as well.

I use an at home test so I can get a better running average vs just having it done at the drs.  Usually you can also stop by any fire dept and they will test it for you for free as well



 It is not uncommon for one (either systolic or diastolic) to be high while the other one remains normal or low. This does put you into a prehypertensive category - medically speaking - but is not something to worry about just yet.

Firstly, you're not super hight. Also, for diagnosis of all blood pressure related issues a physician must use at least two separate measurements...and those measurements must support one another. So wait til you get it rechecked, and at that time you'll be with a physician and can ask questions that you have.

 The reason for the above statement is that blood pressure measurements are very temperamental. Your arm must be at heart level, stimulants in your system can change it, the cuff must be lined up over the brachial artery, and above all, with the loud environment of a blood donation area, it is very possible to be off by a little bit due to difficulty of hearing the necessary sounds for measurement.

 Hope this helps, and don't worry yet. You're not hypertensive even if the measurement is right, and you can take steps to lower your blood pressure if the measurement was accurate and your physician thinks it's necessary.

On a side note, do NOT buy the cheap cuffs with the expectation of getting great measurements. There are a TON of variables that go into blood pressure measurement and nothing beats the trained ears of a physician. 

swimfreak26:  Thanks for the help.  I have had readings like this before, being in the 120's for systolic and then a low diastolic.  But I don't remember my diastolic ever being below 60 before.  I've got a few friends who are healthcare professionals, they have all said it's healthy. 

I guess I am mainly wondering why that diastolic reading was so low, and if it had anything to do with how much I exercise.  But I will definitely ask my doctor.  And probably in the meantime stop inhaling so much salty food.  It's my weakness, lol.

90/72, RHR of about 44. 

 I'm not highly trained, but I do work out a lot.  I also am in Exercise Physiology at my University and have been tested by multiple health professionals (Ph.Ds in Exercise Physiology).  I always check out just fine!

ilovewater: I'm almost embarrassed to admit this, but I am totally jealous of those numbers.  And kind of your major, that sounds like it would be fun!
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Hey jillmenow,

I am an RN and tend to come across many hypertensive patients.  A resting heart rate of 62 and BP of 126/54 are wonderful numbers!  I would not be concerned at all with these numbers. 

Many sources say that 120/80 is a normal BP for the average person, but there is a whole spectrum of values that we consider normal.  We always look at the bottom number first (diastolic- pressure in your arteries when the heart is at rest) and don't start to worry until the bottom number is over 90.  The top number measures the pressure when your heart is contracting and we usually don't start getting worried until this number is in the 150-160 range.  If you notice a higher BP >140/90, document the numbers and what you were doing at the time.  Book a check up with your doctor and try to monitor your numbers to see if they are consistently high.  Your doctor may not treat your BP if it was high only on one occasion.  However, if there is a pattern of several high BPs, then your doctor will most likely start you on a treatment plan.

Low blood pressures are fine as well, especially if you are cardiovascularly fit.  However, if you have a low BP and are experiencing symptoms such as dizziness and blurred vision on a couple occasions then I would get checked out by your doctor.  In most cases it usually just means that you are dehydrated, but it never hurts to check!

Sorry for the long reply, but I just wanted to let you know that you don't need to worry.  I applaud you for monitoring your BP and your health especially if there is a family history.  Keep up the good work!! Laughing

Thank you tblo!  That's a really good explanation of it all..didn't require much thinking on my part, lol. 
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    Im an athlete, a runner specifically, and my stats are as follows:
Resting Heart Rate: 44, and pressure of 127/54. I was also concerned with this low diastoilc pressure. My explanation of this phenomina is as follows:

    I imagine that a fit heart would have a higher pressure difference to make up for the heart having less conctractions in a specific time interval. If has a back ground in physics this would fall under the heading of conservation of mass (ie mass flow rate; M). I believe that this may be a suitable explanation.

Source: Student of Aeronautical Engineering
Last time I took my BP, my numbers were 120/86, pulse 47. I am on BP meds (runs in my father's side of the family).

Very high BP runs in both my parents and I always seem to have "white coat sysndrome" on top of that!  I've had my BP checked a lot and even took it every day for a month to figure out my average.  My average turned out to be 130/80 which I thought meant the start of my new drug protocol but the doctor was happy with it as long as I was active (running) to keep my heart healthy.  She did mention that above that I would probably go on a mild BP pill.  BTW I'm almost 40 and my mom was on meds in her 20's so I think I'm doing pretty good!  Weight loss, less salt and activity can work for some in lowering BP.

Since my last post 6 monhs ago on this thread I've managed to drop the blood pressure to about 117/79 by restricting my sodium intake. If you have HBP concerns try diet and exercise first and the most important diet consideration for high bp is sodium.

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