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is it possible to eat right, exercise, and still have high blood pressure?

I took my blood pressure while at Walmart yesterday and the reading was 144/77 with a resting heart rate at 58. This is a new Walmart and a new looking machine, but this isn't the first time I've taken my blood pressure on this type of machine and got this result. My diet is healthy, I don't take in a lot of sodium, but my weekend meals are not so strict. Don't know what's causing my BP to be so lop-sided. BTW, I'm 6'3 170lbs and I workout 3-6 times per week. I'll try my BP again next week and if there's no improvement, I'm going to the doctor. Just wanted to get some feedback from y'all.

- Jason

7 answers

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HBP isn't just diet and exercise controlled-- there is a genetic factor as well. Some folks are just predisposed to HBP.

If you food and exercise regiem are on track, I am not sure I would wait to see a Dr.-- HBP has major consequences besides Heart Attack and Stroke. Neuropathy, Kidney damages, Lung Funtion-- please see your physician and rule this stuff out--Happy

Vicki Bowland 53k
6 years ago

Vicki is right. The genetic component of blood pressure should not be ignored. Also, elevated blood pressure may be a sign of other medical conditions.

It doesn't sound like you regularly monitor your blood pressure. It might be worthwhile to buy a home unit and take your BP at various points throughout a day to determine a baseline. One other thing, 2 data points on a WalMart BP machine may not indicate anything.

However, I suggest to visit your doctor.

Brian Delaney 8.6k
6 years ago

Hi Jmcmahan15,

As others have rightly pointed out, genetics play a big role in determining our blood pressure. But let me ask you, when you took your blood pressure were you sitting or standing? Were you walking around the store all day and did you give it a few minutes (resting) before you took the blood pressure? To be honest your blood pressure seems pretty fine to me. Yes the Systolic (2nd number) is getting high, but the more important number is the Diastolic (1st number) it is actually fine (the text book blood pressure is 120/80). Also your resting heart rate is fantastic (again, if you didn’t wait for everything to settle down before measuring it). The best time to take these measurements is the first thing in the morning, because exercise (even just in the shape of moving) can increase these number plus if you are like many of us, if you have stimulants in the morning (coffee, and some medications) these will be effecting your blood pressure and RHR reading. One final thing which is a ‘modifiable’ risk factor of increased blood pressure is if you smoke?

Again, I really don’t think you have anything to worry about, but if it does concern you, certainly speak to your doctor.


6 years ago

I think you should have your Dr. check it ASAP, better safe than sorry. I have had boarder line high blood pressure for years (my dad has it, so I am sure it is a genetic thing for me). I stop in occasionally just to get mine checked. Sometimes my Dr. will take it again- 15 minutes after the nurse did, after I have been sitting for a while, and it is usually down. My BP really skyrocketed with my pregnancies, and landed me on bed rest with the last one. But, even though I am genetically predisposed to HPB, I have got mine under control for probably a year now- and I attribute it completely to my activity level, as long as I do a good solid 30 minutes of cardio 3x a week, my BP is totally normal- even low. I just count myself lucky that I can avoid the medications for it.

My Dr. has always said the same thing James says- it's the bottom number you pay closest attention to.

sarahk11 32k
6 years ago

If it is over 140 systolic and/or over 90 diastolic while at rest on a re-ocuring basis, it is considered hypertension.
Your diastolic looks good. Your systolic is actually normal considering you were probably moving around.
Try measuring it first thing in the morning as someone said. This will give you a more reliable number.
Just a note--stress will also increase it.

6 years ago

Hey Jason,

Like everyone else has mentioned, there are genetic factors to account for where blood pressure considered. Some people eat great and exercise all the time and no matter what they do their blood pressure stays high. If you are at all concerned, please talk to your doctor as soon as possible and have a pro measure it.

Like James mentioned, there are also certain environmental factors to consider when measuring your blood pressure. If you just drank a cup of coffee or just got done exercising your blood pressure will likely be elevated. It's always best to err on the side caution though and get it checked out.

6 years ago

I would also add that the BP machine at Walmart, although it is new, is not necessarily accurate. The best place for an accurate blood pressure is always at the doctor's office. That being said, considering your age and I presume your healthy nutrition and lifestyle you probably don't have anything to worry about, but if it causes you anxiety consult your physician.

rdy2getfit 5.7k
6 years ago

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jmcmahan15 member since Aug '11


9/12/2011 at 8:44 AM
Blood Pressure