Can running lower blood pressure? There is evidence that it can certainly help, when combined with other lifestyle changes.
What is high blood pressure and why does it matter?
It takes a certain amount of effort for the heart to pump your blood through your veins. This effort, or pressure, is one half of the blood pressure equation. The second part is the pressure the blood is under as it flows between heartbeats. When the overall blood pressure is too high for sustained periods, it can cause damage to fragile artery and vein walls. This can have painful, and sometimes fatal consequences.
How can running lower blood pressure?
If your blood pressure is too high, there are a number of things you can do to bring it down. Exercising regularly is a great place to start. It’s not surprising that running two or three times a week can really make a difference. It works because running causes the heart muscle to gain strength (much like exercising any muscle will make it stronger over time). When the heart is stronger, it takes less effort to pump blood around the body, which reduces the overall blood pressure.
What are the other lifestyle changes?
While running lowers blood pressure through improving heart fitness, it also contributes to the other lifestyle changes that often, come hand in hand with the sport. Decreasing body fat (i.e., losing weight) is another great way to lower blood pressure. Generally speaking, when people begin to exercise regularly and lose weight, there is often a flow-on effect to diet. A healthy diet based on fresh vegetables, fruit and lean protein can help lower blood pressure, too.
Consistency is key
Along with dietary and other lifestyle changes, running lowers blood pressure. Don’t think that an occasional lap around the block is enough, however. Try to run a few times a week to help keep your heart in good shape. If you’re at all concerned, please see your healthcare professional before starting a new routine.
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Whilst Enertor has over 18 years Orthotics experience, our blog content is provided for informational purposes only and it is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical advice. Enertor advises anyone with an injury to seek their own medical advice – and do not make any health or medical related decisions based solely on information found on this site.