What Is the Blood Pressure of a Very Fit Person?

Reviewed on 5/20/2021
blood pressure
A very fit person who exercises regularly will have a lower resting blood pressure (usually below 120/80 mm Hg)

Blood pressure numbers that are at or below 120/80 mm Hg are considered normal. During exercise, your systolic blood pressure may be temporarily elevated by 20 to 30 mm Hg but then come down within a few minutes after your workout is done. 

Studies show that a very fit person who exercises regularly will have a lower resting blood pressure (usually below 120/80 mm Hg) than someone who leads a sedentary lifestyle.

How does regular exercise lower your blood pressure?

Regular physical activity can strengthen your heart. When your heart is stronger, it can pump more blood without less effort. 

Exercise also causes the secretion of nitric oxide in the blood vessel lining, which keeps blood vessels elastic and allows blood to flow through more easily. 

Adding moderate physical activities to your daily routine can therefore help you keep your blood pressure healthy.

How much exercise do you need?

The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise a week. If you have a sedentary lifestyle, you should aim for at least 5-10 minutes low-intensity physical exercise a day.

Moderate physical activities that can increase your heart and breathing rates and lower your blood pressure include:

  • Household chores, such as mowing the lawn, raking leaves, gardening or scrubbing the floor
  • Active sports, such as basketball or tennis
  • Climbing stairs
  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Bicycling
  • Swimming
  • Dancing

What is normal blood pressure by age?

The charts below show normal blood pressure levels by age and gender:

  • Systolic blood pressure (SBP) = the upper number
  • Diastolic blood pressure (DBP) = the lower number
Chart 1: Males - normal blood pressure by age
Age (Years) SBP DBP
21-25 120.5 78.5
26-30 119.5 76.5
31-35 114.5 75.5
36-40 120.5 75.5
41-45 115.5 78.5
46-50 119.5 80.5
51-55 125.5 80.5
56-60 129.5 79.5
61-65 143.5 76.5
Chart 2: Females - normal blood pressure by age
Age (Years) SBP DBP
21-25 115.5 70.5
26-30 113.5 71.5
31-35 110.5 72.5
36-40 112.5 74.5
41-45 116.5 73.5
46-50 124 78.5
51-55 122.5 74.5
56-60 132.5 78.5
61-65 130.5 77.5

SLIDESHOW

How to Lower Blood Pressure: Exercise Tips See Slideshow

Can lifestyle changes help you maintain normal blood pressure?

In addition to regular physical exercise, a few lifestyle changes can help you maintain healthy blood pressure levels:

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References
Mayo Clinic. Exercise: A Drug-Free Approach to Lowering High Blood Pressure. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/high-blood-pressure/art-20045206

Harvard Health Publishing. Ask the Doctor: Are My Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Changing Normally During Exercise? https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/are-my-blood-pressure-and-heart-rate-changing-normally-during-exercise

Lin JD, Chen YL, Wu CZ, et al. Identification of Normal Blood Pressure in Different Age Group [published correction appears in Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 May;97(18):e0685] [published correction appears in Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Jun 24;95(25):e6777]. Medicine (Baltimore). 2016;95(14):e3188. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4998762/

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