Intense physical exertion and blood pressure
Heavy weight lifting, extreme physical exertion, and lifting heavy objects in a non-competitive environment have all been shown to increase blood pressure dramatically in some individuals.
Blood pressure as high as 380mmHg has been recorded in some professional heavy weight lifters. Blood pressure levels in some of these individuals can be much higher than those seen in ICUs. Needless to say, such blood pressure levels are extremely dangerous. Blood pressure of this magnitude puts an incredible stress on the aortic wall. As the blood pressure increases, so do the heart rate, heart muscle contractility and cardiac output. As a consequence, the aorta wall can split in this setting, resulting in aortic dissection. This condition is often deadly even with timely surgical intervention. Some people are more susceptible than others. This includes individuals with a family history of aortic aneurysms, people over 40 due to the age-related loss of elasticity of blood vessels, people with connective tissue diseases, hypertension, and those with an enlarged aorta. People who fall into one or more of these categories are strongly advised to avoid heavy weight lifting and similar activities.
Generally, lifting up to one half of one's body weight and not exceeding blood pressure levels of 200mmHg during weight lifting is considered relatively safe. In one small study, blood pressure elevations during weight lifting were shown to be directly related to the percentage of body weight lifted.
Anybody who engages regularly in heavy weight lifting or an intense physical exertion is strongly advised to have routine echocardiographic screening.
Last edited by flowergirl2day; 02-21-2009 at 04:27 PM.