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140 over 80

...a cautious move back to exercising...

"

You could blow a gasket."

Those were the precise words a cardiologist said to me a week ago. My BP was somewhere around 190 over 110. Far too high to be exercising and hence I stopped. It didn't matter a GP told me the exact opposite a week earlier. "All the cardio you want, it's good for you."

Based on the GP's advice, I continued to exercise. There's a certain irony in exercising to be healthy and risking instant death in the process from a heart attack or aneurysm. At the moment, I'd like to avoid those thoughts.

In the past week I've been on BP meds. First 25 mg of atenolol each day and now 50 mg. I've been reading my BP and HR at intervals and my BP has come down. I've had readings of 140/80 in the last couple of days. That's the target. As a result, it seemed safe to get back to the gym and I did.

I wasn't pushing myself, wasn't overly exerting myself. I did 30 minutes on the treadmill. Flat grade and only at 5.5 km/h--a walking pace. When I started the workout my heart rate was around 60 bpm. I could time each beat with the tick of a second. When I was done, it went up to 72 bpm. I didn't break much sweat. I was amazed my heart rate was that low. I wonder if it even counts as a workout. The good news is I didn't experience any discomfort, shortness of breath, dizziness, pain etc. It was a light workout, easy.

I know my at rest heart rate is low. It's a result of my fitness regiment, lots of exercise, but during this past week I discovered how low: it's typically around 60 but ranges from 55 to 65. I was surprised by these numbers. I'm in better shape than I thought, except for my high BP which is coming down thanks to the meds.

I still don't understand why I have hypertension and low heart rate. It doesn't make sense to me.

One thing I've discovered from this: I don't need to exercise everyday. I can cut back. Free up time for, uh, watching ants.

Posted 2010/03/26 at 21h53ET in Exercise.

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