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65 | Dr. Blake Perry on Exercise and Blood Flow Regulation

The guest for this episode’s podcast is Dr. Blake Perry, an integrated human physiologist focused on trying to understand how multiple body systems all interacts. In this episode, they discussed topics about blood flow, blood pressure and its’ changes to different stresses like environmental temperature and internal body temperature, and how it affects the body during and after an exercise.

In everything that we do, especially in doing exercise, maintaining blood pressure is important. We faint if the blood pressure in the brain drops because our brain requires a huge energy demands. It comprised only 2-3% of our whole body mass, but it received 15% overall blood flow and needed 20% amount of total oxygen in our body. The brain cannot store its’ own glucose energy storage and that’s why it gets its’ energy from your blood. Dr. Perry discussed that people who did endurance exercises have a higher rate of blood flow which means it offsets age-related brain decline and diffusion, and increases cognitive function.

What’s happening with the heat, blood pressure, and the blood flow when your body is hot during an exercise? When your body heats up, the brain will send signal to the body to release the heat to the environment and you begin to sweat where it takes the heat to the environment. When you’re exercising and you reach the heat-stress level limit of your body, you can start to see the signs of heat illness where your compensatory mechanisms do not actually work which may lead to fainting, heat stroke and/or potentially life threatening conditions.

So the signs to look out for are the following:

- Looking pale

- Starting to feel cold even if you’re extremely hot

- Having Goosebumps then beginning to shiver

If you experience these signs during or after your exercise, it means that these regulatory mechanisms to offload the heat starts to fail. That’s a dangerous condition to be in.

If you begin to look pale, that means your blood vessels are constricted and the blood with the heat cannot flow to your skin. If they cannot flow to your skin, it will go to your internal organs and may cause damage. People age 40 and above have a higher risk of these regulatory mechanisms to fail. So remember to pace yourself based on your body’s capacity, thermal comfort, and the type of exercise that you do whether it was aerobic or anaerobic training.

Blood pressure effects are different for every person. It is important to know about it because, if it’s really high, it can damage your arteries and blood vessels which may result in parts of the body not receiving any or not enough blood which could cause cellular damage. If the pressure in the arteries is really high, your heart needs to pump harder and be under more stress just to combat the pressure in your arteries to pump blood through your arteries. A prolonged duration of high blood and heart pressure even at rest, may eventually lead to heart failure.

Dr. Perry said “having a low body temperature means that your heart does not need to pump as hard to deliver blood to all of your organs”.

Based on several studies, exercise appears to be beneficial in lowering blood pressure, meaning that the heart does not work as hard. While endurance exercise can cause the heart to become stronger where it only needs a lesser amount of blood pumps to deliver more blood in your heart.

Listen to the episode HERE


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