In and Out Express Care Blog

Running to Lower Your Blood Pressure

By Dana MacCorquodale | Published Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Running can improve your blood pressure.

Dr. N. Michael Baddar, Medical Director for In and Out Express Care, once told me "the lower your blood pressure, the longer you will live." This was the first time I had heard this and I was intrigued.

Being physically inactive is linked to high blood pressure. Persistent high pressure can damage blood vessels, heart, brain, kidneys and your eyes.

When I get out of the habit of doing my daily run, several things happen. The first is I don’t sleep as well. The second is I put on weight. The third is my anxiety increases. And when I stop running, my blood pressure goes up.

For me, a run first thing in the morning is such a great way to start your day. I have never once gone for a run, gotten home and thought to myself, “I wish I had stayed in bed another hour” I always feel better after a run. It’s my sanity. It’s an anti-depressant and therapist rolled into one. It lets me shake away the cobwebs of the previous day and start anew. It helps me think and deepens my connection with my body. When I run, I am a better person, a happier person.

It also allows me to indulge my sweet tooth because running is a great calorie burner. Depending on your weight and height, running burns an average of 100 calories per mile. To put that into perspective, a 6 mile run 5 times a week will burn around 3000 calories. That’s almost one pound per week.

Running is an amazing cardiovascular exercise. It strengthens the heart, lungs, legs, your core and even increases bone strength because it is a high impact weight bearing exercise. (If you have osteoporosis, please check with your doctor before beginning a running program.)

When you run, it raises your blood pressure for a short time. When you finish your run, your blood pressure should soon return to normal. The faster your blood pressure goes back down depends on your level of fitness.

Running on its own can cause blood pressure to drop 10 or mm Hg in most people. However, if you have very high blood pressure, you should speak to your doctor before beginning a running program. You may need to take ACE inhibitors or alpha blockers to lower blood pressure to safe levels before beginning to run.

In and Out Express Cares about you! If you have questions about running, you can email Coach Dana directly here. Stop in today to feel better fast!