Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Effect of Uphill Running on my Blood Pressure (or how to bring down blood pressure without medication)

This morning I measured my blood pressure before my uphill run. It was very high: 176/108. I didn't take any medication. I decided to bring along my blood pressure monitor and see if my hill running will bring the pressure down.

After running uphill for 15 minutes, I measured again my blood pressure. Now it is 113/60! No medication can have that instant lowering effect.

I continued with several uphill intervals. I measure again my blood pressure 30 minutes after the beginning of my run. Still very low: 111/66.

I headed home, this time mostly downhill. I increased my pace for the last 500 meters. Upon reaching the church grounds I measured again my blood presure: 116/71 after running for a total of 40 minutes.

Nine minutes after I stopped running and was resting, I once again measured my blood pressure. My post-run reading: 128/87.

I am amazed at the effect of an intense uphill running on my blood pressure. Normally, an intense activity - like running uphill - should bring the blood pressure up. In my case, the already high blood pressure goes down. It would seem that the more the intense the exercise, the lower the blood pressure. I remember an article about the Tarahumara Indians whose blood pressure were measured after a day's run. Instead of going up, their blood pressure went down. So it seems that like those running braves, running has a lowering effect on my blood pressure. The lesson for me: instead of taking hypertension medication, I should just go out and run.

1 comment:

Serge said...

I also am astonished what is happening to me. I have always been a runner.But at the age of 50 I had a blood pressure of 150/90. When I am stressed it goes up to 17/10.I started taking medication and continued with my running everyday but my BP was no better than 150/90. For no apparent reason but only because I love running I started running uphill one year ago and to my amazement my BP started to lower to 140/90 and after some time 130/80 and now it is stable around 120/80. However I am still on medication, as advised by my doctor. I am 64 yrs old and still running uphill once weekly.