Many health factors can affect your ability to exercise and do strength training, including your blood pressure. However, there are things you can do to safely exercise. So, what do you need to do to lift weights safely when you have low blood pressure?
To safely lift weights with low blood pressure, always have a spotter. Eat plenty of carbs and salt before starting a workout. Warm up for 5-10 minutes before lifting weights. Slowly change positions. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after the workout.
Keep reading to learn more about how to lift weights safely when you have low blood pressure.
How to Safely Lift Weights with Low Blood Pressure
Consult Your Doctor
Before lifting weights, consult your doctor. They will tell you whether or not it is safe for you to start lifting weights. They may tell you to do other exercises and see how your body tolerates them before starting to lift weights. Keep in mind that they may want you to wait until your blood pressure is under control.
If your doctor determines that you can safely lift weights, they may tell you about things that you can do to keep your blood pressure up while lifting weights.
Always Have Someone with You
If you have low blood pressure, never exercise alone, even if you are feeling completely fine and think your blood pressure is under control. You never know when your blood pressure will drop. If someone is with you, they can watch out for signs that your blood pressure is dropping and keep the weights you are lifting from hurting you.
While it may be frustrating to always have someone with you when exercising, it is better to be safe than sorry. Ask your spouse or a friend to go with you to the gym regularly. If you have a personal trainer, tell them about your low blood pressure issues.
Eat Before Working Out
Eating before your workout may help keep your blood pressure up. Carbs can help keep your blood pressure in a safe range. Always have snacks with you when lifting weights. Salty foods can also help keep your blood pressure at a safe level while you are lifting weights.
If you don’t want to eat a large meal before lifting weights, eat a small meal a few hours and right beforehand instead.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drink plenty of water before, during, and after lifting weights. If your blood pressure drops suddenly, drink a sports drink like Gatorade or another beverage with electrolytes, sodium, and potassium in it.
Before lifting weights, drink coffee. The caffeine in coffee can increase your blood pressure, making it safer for you to lift weights.
If you are becoming dehydrated, take a break and drink plenty of fluids. If you don’t, your blood pressure may drop.
High temperatures can make your blood pressure drop, so before you join a gym, make sure the facility you intend to use has air conditioning that works consistently. If the gym is warm when you go to the facility to lift weights, ask the receptionist to lower the temperature or go another day.
Wear Compression Socks
When lifting weights, wear compression socks and other supportive clothing. They will prevent blood from pooling in your legs, which can make you dizzy, and is one of the reasons why it can be dangerous for you to lift weights when you have low blood pressure.
These compression socks are highly rated, relatively affordable, and quite fashionable.
Don’t start lifting weights immediately after arriving at the gym. Instead, warm up for 5-10 minutes. Go for a walk, stretch, and do generally easy exercises that will warm up your muscles. If you start lifting weights immediately after arriving at the gym, your blood pressure may drop quickly.
Change Positions Slowly
When changing positions, do so slowly. For example, lay down on the bench slowly and wait for your body to adjust before lifting weights. If you change positions too quickly, you may start to feel dizzy or lightheaded, which isn’t good when you are lifting heavy weights.
Avoid doing anything that will make it so your head is level or below your heart. Adjust your exercises accordingly.
Do all of the exercises that will involve you sitting down or standing up in a row. This will make it so you can avoid changing positions frequently.
After you finish lifting weights, walk or stretch for 5-10 minutes before ending your workout completely. Doing so will allow your body to adjust to the change in your heart rate.
Regularly Evaluate How You Are Feeling
While lifting weights, regularly evaluate how you are feeling. If you are feeling okay, continue with your workout. If you feel dizzy or lightheaded, wait for your body to adjust before continuing your workout. After your body adjusts, be extra careful and consider lifting less weight than you normally do, just to be on the safe side.
What to Look Out For When Lifting Weights with Low Blood Pressure
If you have low blood pressure, you need to be extremely careful when lifting weights. If you were to drop a weight on top of you, you could get severely injured. Luckily, there are signs that your blood pressure is dropping that you can watch out for when lifting weights.
Signs that Your Blood Pressure is Dropping
- Blurred Vision
- Fading Vision
- Irregular Pulse
If you notice any of these signs, stop working out immediately. Stay still, lie down, or put your head in your lap until the feeling goes away. Drink plenty of water and eat a salty snack that is filled with carbs. When you feel normal again, feel free to continue lifting weights, but keep looking out for signs that something isn’t quite right.
Overall, as long as you take precautions, you can lift weights safely when you have low blood pressure. You just can’t push through feelings of dizziness or fatigue without putting yourself at risk.