Q: The conventional wisdom seems to be focused on resting blood pressure. Yet people also do 24-hour monitoring which suggests that non-resting blood pressure matters too. Is that right? If keeping your 24-hour blood pressure low is a goal, does that mean that being active is somehow undesirable?
A: Absolutely; non-resting pressure matters. It is well known that blood pressure goes up with activity. If your pressure is high at rest, imagine how high it will be with exercise. This is why resting pressure is measured. It is an easy and practical way to assess the state of your blood pressure. 24 hour BP monitoring is the best measure but far more time consuming and expensive. Exercise is very desirable. Your blood pressure elevates at the time of activity but over time with repeated work-outs, both your resting pressure and exercise pressure will be lower.