“We’re now starting to think that it may be more important to aim for controlling blood pressure during physical activity, even just day-to-day physical activity, rather just at rest,” Hart said. “Because if you’re getting these repeated rises in excessive blood pressure, then that’s probably not good for your cardiovascular system.”
Researchers believe part of the reason for that increase is a chemical byproduct released by muscles during exercise that tells the brain to increase blood pressure. This process, called the metaboreflex, is hyperactive in people who have high blood pressure. The new findings suggest the reflex also is fairly immune to medications that are normally prescribed to treat high blood pressure.
Peter Raven, a retired physiology and anatomy professor with the University of North Texas Health Science Center who was not involved in the study, said the report’s findings suggest that doctors shouldn’t base their efforts to control blood pressure on measurements taken when people are at rest.
— American Heart Association News