Post Exercise Hypotension with light headedness


Q: My normal blood pressure is around 120/80, sometimes a bit lower.

After I exercise lately I noticed I was feeling very lightheaded. This was with 10 minutes of cool down walking, followed by stretching for another 10 minutes.

I then took my blood pressure standing up and it was 94/78. I took it 10 minutes later and it came up to 104/78.

Is this normal?

Symptoms:  Lightheadness, hypotension

A:   Thank you for your question. Intense exercise causes the blood vessels to dilate allowing more oxygenated blood to get to your skeletal muscle. At the end of your workout you may experience a transient drop in blood pressure as your heart rate decreases to its resting state. This would cause the lightheadedness that you are experiencing as well. The fact that you blood pressure increased after some rest indicates a good physiological response. We recommend that at the end of your workout that you cool down in a sitting position and to prevent light headedness. If your lightheadedness continues without any change, you may need to be evaluated for postural hypotension by your doctor. This will require to undergo a full cardiovascular examination in your doctors office plus testing you blood pressure in multiple postures. Please exercise more caution while working out to prevent falls, and injury.

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