All you need to know about athlete blood pressure
An athlete is someone who involves in sports, these sports require speed, endurance, stamina or physical strength. Athletics are different from normal exercise because athletes are trained to perform these sports. They are always competitive. These sports include running, swimming, table tennis, football, basketball, golf and others.
There are differences between being an athlete and an exerciser. An athlete is trained in a particular sport. They devote their time, strength and life in the sport. An exerciser, on the other hand, can do or participate in various sports. They participate in them in their leisure time. An athlete knob for running cannot be seen giving their time and dedication to another sport.
Athletics are competitive. Because these sports are highly organized, they are highly competitive and played by tens of people, sometimes hundreds in a time. Exercise does not need to organized. You can exercise anytime and alone.
There is no need to put in your best while at it. People exercise to be fit and stay healthy. Athletes also exercise to keep themselves fit. The only similarity between both is that the heart gets to workout and beat faster when you do both.
HOW DOES AN ATHLETE’S HEART WORK?
A normal person’s heart beats between 50-100 times per minute but an athletes heart beats more than that. This is because during training and when an athlete participate in sports, the muscles demand more energy because they work harder then. Because of the demand, the nerves arouse or encourage the heart to beat faster and increase blood flow.
These nerves will also encourage the veins to squeeze together and this will increase the rate at which blood flows round the body. How fast an athlete’s heart beats depends on how long he or she has been training or participating.
The blood pressure is not same as the heart beats. Blood pressure is the force the blood uses when moving through blood vessels. When the heart beat increases, it doesn’t mean the blood pressure will also increase. The heart can increase speedily but the blood pressure only increase in a modest amount.
Both the heart beat and blood pressure can be used to know if the heart is working well and possible cardiac complications.
Blood pressure comes in two measurement. The systolic pressure determines how much our blood compresses the arteries when it leaves the heart. Diastolic pressure shows how much our blood compresses the arteries when they return to the heart. The normal systolic pressure is below 120 while diastolic is below 80.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension can occur when the heart works too hard and gets weakened. This will cause inability of the blood vessels to move blood around and result in insufficient blood in parts of the body. Because the blood carries nutrients, the organ of the body cannot get the nutrients they need.
Low blood pressure or hypotension occurs when the heart pumps blood more slowly that it should. This is not a problem most times.
ATHLETE BLOOD PRESSURE
Many people ask questions like between high blood pressure and low blood pressure, which does an athlete have? You may think that due to the constant training and participation in sports, an athlete’s heart will work too much thereby resulting in high blood pressure. This is not the case.
Studies show that a person who involves in activities that requires physical strength and keep the body fit (as in the case of an athlete ) will have low blood pressure. This is because even though the blood pressure may rise during these activities, few minutes after the exercise, training or participation, it (the blood pressure ) goes down.
However, athletes can have high blood pressure. Their blood pressure depends on the kind of sports they engage in. Diastolic and systolic pressure rise in static sports while systolic pressure increases in dynamic sports.
Dynamic sports requires the athletes to use their body and muscles while moving from place to place. Examples are sports like football, basketball, running, jumping. Static sports involves less moving around from one location to another. Water skiing, mountain climbing, bowling, golf, table tennis are examples of static sports.
A study has shown that athletes who engage in dynamic sports that requires speed and endurance have lower blood pressure than those who engage in static sports. Also athlete that engage in water sports have higher blood pressure.
Body size can also increase the chances of having hypertension. Athletes like body builders, weightlifters and wrestlers have increased risk. Female athletes are less likely to have high blood pressure than their male counterparts. Constant use of hard drugs can also cause hypertension.
HOW TO MANAGE ATHLETE BLOOD PRESSURE
Hypertension can be managed by reducing the intake of sodium. Foods that contain potassium are recommended. The athlete can consider changing his or her lifestyle. Things like binge drinking and constant use of stimulants or illicit drugs should be avoided. You can engage in aerobic exercises. If you are overweight, you can try to lose some weight. A doctor may recommend medications which can help reduce the blood pressure if necessary.
Things like use of illicit drugs, consuming large quantity of alcohol, stressing your body so much or using stimulants to increase strength can be risky as they will increase the chances of a higher athlete blood pressure.
Be sure to reduce and control your blood pressure before participating in sports. Your health is more important. An athlete should constantly check his or her blood pressure for changes.