What is blood pressure and why so important to keep it under control during training?

If you think that measuring pressure is fun for those over sixty, then let me disappoint you.

What is blood pressure?

As you probably know, the whole body of a person is penetrated by blood vessels. They are conditionally divided into three types: arteries, capillaries and veins. 

Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart, capillaries distribute it in tissues and organs, and through the veins, blood is sent back to the heart. It is the heart that sets this system in motion, acting as a pump. 

Thanks to him, blood is constantly under a certain pressure.

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Speaking of blood pressure, they usually mean blood pressure (i.e. blood pressure in the arteries). 

It is significantly higher than the pressure in the capillaries and veins, and most important from the point of view of physiology. 

Blood pressure shows how well the heart supplies oxygen to our entire body.

It is generally accepted that normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg. Deciphering these numbers is easy. 

The first is always indicated systolic pressure, it shows the pressure at the time of the contraction of the ventricles of the heart - that is, when they throw out another portion of blood. In this case, it is 120. 

Systolic pressure is always higher than the second digit - the value of diastolic pressure, which indicates blood pressure when the ventricles are relaxed. In our example, diastolic pressure is 80. Measuring blood pressure in millimeters of mercury is a tribute to tradition.

So that everything becomes completely clear: let's say your heart beats at a frequency of 70 times per minute. This means that 70 times per minute, it throws a portion of oxygenated blood into the arteries. This blood is distributed throughout the body under systolic pressure (for example, 120 mmHg). In the moments between heart contractions, blood pressure in the arteries decreases slightly. The smallest value of this pressure is called diastolic pressure (for example, 80 mmHg).

Despite the fact that the “ideal” pressure is considered to be 120/80 mm Hg. Art., for each person has its own optimal value for blood pressure. There is no generally accepted opinion about the exact limits of normal pressure, but in any case, the pressure is higher than 140/90 mm Hg. Art. consider elevated, and a pressure of less than 90/60 mm RT. Art. - too low.

What is dangerous about blood pressure reduction?

Doctors call a decrease in blood pressure hypotension. This is a rather dangerous condition that usually does not occur on its own, but as a result of another disease.

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At a pressure below 90/60 mm RT. Art. blood supply to tissues and organs is disturbed, because of which they begin to suffer from a lack of oxygen. If this process is not stopped in time, the patient may lose consciousness or even fall into a coma.

Fortunately, such a strong decrease in blood pressure is rare. Some people are prone to low blood pressure, but it does not fall below 100/65 mm Hg. Art. This is a physiological feature of the body that you should not worry about if it does not cause constant drowsiness and weakness.

The danger of high blood pressure

An increase in blood pressure happens much more often. It is not necessarily harmful: for example, an increase in pressure during heavy physical exertion helps to cope with this load. However, in a healthy person, after such an increase, the pressure quickly returns to normal. If this does not happen or the pressure rises for no apparent reason, they say arterial hypertension.

Arterial hypertension is sometimes a symptom of other diseases, but in the vast majority of cases, it occurs "on its own." This condition is called hypertension. It develops in many elderly people and is one of the main risk factors for heart attacks, strokes and other diseases of blood vessels and heart.

The mechanisms of the occurrence of hypertension are rather complicated, therefore, we will talk about them only briefly. 

The first mechanism is associated with an increase in the amount of blood in the vessels. This may occur, for example, due to excessive salt intake.

If there is more blood, the pressure in the circulatory system rises. That is why eating a lot of salt is harmful.


The second mechanism for increasing pressure is associated with an increase in the rigidity of the walls of the vessels. This not only leads to a narrowing of their lumen, but also worsens the ability of blood vessels to adapt to fluctuations in blood pressure. Imagine a thick rubber garden hose and a narrow metal pipe - even with an increase in water pressure, the pressure in the hose will be less. Roughly the same thing happens with blood vessels. Wall compaction is possible due to cholesterol deposits, or under the influence of other reasons.


In addition, blood pressure increases with an imbalance in the functioning of the nervous and endocrine systems. In order not to go into details, we’ll just say that chronic stress, impaired kidney function, the use of certain medications and the effects of all kinds of adverse factors can lead to this (smoking, by the way). An important role is played by heredity. Due to its dangerous effects, a persistent increase in blood pressure is something that should definitely be avoided.

Blood pressure in athletes

According to studies, regular exercise contributes to lower resting blood pressure. This is due to improved stamina, and the risk of hypertension is reduced. For this, doctors recommend aerobic training for 30 minutes at least five days a week.


Some sports involve sharp increases in blood pressure, which creates an additional risk for those who already have a tendency to hypertension. In particular, the blood pressure of a weightlifter when lifting the bar can reach 300/150 mm RT. Art. and is a real test for blood vessels and heart.


Another risk factor is sports nutrition and some drugs used in the training. They can also increase blood pressure, especially those that contain caffeine, steroids, and growth hormone.

However, in most cases, sports affect pressure positively. Especially if a person adheres to a well-thought-out training program and does not overload himself.

How to keep the blood pressure normal

All this leads us to the question - how to protect ourselves from high blood pressure? Here are some helpful tips.


First, it should be measured from time to time. At a young age, it is enough to control blood pressure once a year (if it is normal). If you find yourself too low or high blood pressure, which persists for no apparent reason, consult a doctor. Vascular and heart diseases are easily prevented at an early stage, but not in neglected forms, so do not waste time.


Secondly, try to reduce the number of factors that contribute to increased blood pressure. Namely, quit smoking (or rather, do not start), do not abuse alcohol and psychoactive substances, keep yourself in shape, focusing on aerobic exercise (obesity is another “assistant” of hypertension), and limit the use of salt (ideally not need to add food in general).


Thirdly, do not forget about proper and nutritious nutrition. According to medical recommendations, to maintain normal pressure, you need to eat more vegetables, low-fat dairy products (soy milk is also excellent), fiber-rich foods, all kinds of cereals and cereals. What definitely needs to beware is food rich in cholesterol and carbohydrates (a typical example is fast food). In addition, the Mediterranean diet is very beneficial for the cardiovascular system.


If the above methods do not help to take your blood pressure under control, you can not do without prescribing medications. In addition, you will need to be tested to identify the reasons why your blood pressure may deviate from the norm. This should be done by a general practitioner or cardiologist.


Video: Mistakes in using the digital blood pressure monitor.


Summing up, we will repeat the most important thing: even at the age of 20 it is useful to know what blood pressure is and how to avoid its increase.


Playing sports in this matter is an excellent assistant, along with proper nutrition and rejection of bad habits.


Controlling pressure in youth is the best way to worry less about it in old age and to enjoy an active and fulfilling life longer. What we wish you.


With us you will know how to monitor your health, and become so beautiful that everyone around you will just be envious.


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