Blood Pressure – Also on the Decline

Since my resting heart rate looked so good, I decided to plot my morning blood pressure measurements over time. I had previously tried to do my average blood pressure over the week (considering all measurements), but there is so much variability over the course of a day that the overall effect of the downward trend is minimized by the error bars. Instead, I choose just the measurement I take shortly after waking up, hoping that would reduce the variability. I did this in the same way as I did the heart rate, binning the data into weeks and calculating the standard deviation to make a 95% confidence interval (2 sigma). The uncertainty is still larger than I would like, but it does appear that the decrease is statistically significant, although the average looks better without the variability. If I just consider the first and last point (or week 9, which is even better than week 10), you can see that the value of the lower error bar for week 0 is higher than that of the upper error bar for week 9/10, for both the systolic and diastolic value. That’s awesome!!

BP1

I can take it further, and while this is very subjective, show my diurnal blood pressure variation for a day from week 0 and for yesterday. Granted, I got to pick the days in this example, but I wanted to use yesterday’s measurements and find a day during week 0 where I was at work for the middle two measurements (because that’s one of the places that historically elevates my blood pressure) and was somewhat similar in time. I have been taking my blood pressure four times a day, regardless of where I am and what I’m doing. Subjectively, I can see that it is going down and has been much better controlled during the day. It’s certainly not optimal yet, and I recognize that I have work to do, but I am pleased with the changes I’ve seen.

Week 0                                              Yesterday

I was thinking about whether this trend, as well as the resting heart rate, is being driven by diet or by exercise? While I cannot easily separate the two components and it’s probably some combination of the two, I believe it’s more from exercise. The reason I say that is if I look at my logged exercise classes (not counting extra steps or anything else I’ve tried to do) over the past 10 weeks, I find this:

Week

Minutes of Total Exercise Minutes of Yoga/Body Flow

0

60 0

1

115 60

2

50 50

3

45 0

4

100 50
5 130

100

6 60

60

7 170

170

8 220

220

9 170

170

10 330

330

Graphically, it looks like this:

BP2

Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but to me, it seems like my blood pressure (and resting heart rate, if you imagine that graph superimposed, as well) consistently started to trend down more as I increased my minutes of yoga and Body Flow. I would say that the effect is shifted by one week (and in the opposite direction), but it’s pretty hard to visualize or maybe I’m just imagining things.  Regardless of what’s causing it, I definitely feel more peace in my life and less stress.  If it’s my diet, great; if it’s yoga, great; if it’s the power of God, great!  I’m just happy to finally be calming down and thrilled that’s making my resting heart rate and blood pressure improve!

Regardless, I am pleased with my blood pressure going down, just like I was for my resting pulse going down. I am on day 73 of this experiment (day 71 since the “fast” started) and I am starting to consider my goals for my next 90-days. But, before that happens, I want to finish my first 90-day challenge strong!

2 thoughts on “Blood Pressure – Also on the Decline

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