Is Running Good For High Blood Pressure?

Is Running Good For High Blood Pressure?

By Nenad A. / January 17, 2015

Any given person, and not just entrepreneurs, managers or small business owners are the so called high-risk people. What is means is that they’re exposed to much more stress daily than the rest of the working force. Here’s why:

Running one’s own business (speaking from experience) gets people into an awkward position. At least, for me it is very hard and stressful each and every day:

On one hand, I am able to do more or less in one day if I chose to (and usually I chose to work more). I can also sleep over and take a longer lunch break. If I decide not to work for a week I can do that. When there are no bosses around, you’re the only boss you should listen to.

On the other hand, I feel myself responsible for approximately 20 families (my employees and their husbands-wives-kids) which puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the life I lead. When there are no bosses around, and you are the only boss, you better make sure that one is a damn good one. If nothing else works, make sure to at least be a responsible one.

Because you still need

  • to fulfil on your buyers,
  • and motivate your workers,
  • and feed the family and families,
  • and one day you just go to a normal yearly health checkup and what happens?

Shit Gets Real When Your Doctor Diagnoses You With High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure measuring. Doctor and patient.

Being diagnosed with HBP (or Hypertensia) is not fun. Not at all. Especially when the lovely Ms. Doc tells you you’re either going to change the way you live, or be prepared to be very ill very soon. So I opted for the first one, and that is the time when I started running a bit more seriously.

Because of the simple thing what my physician told me: She said that any kind of physical activity and exercise will help reduce the amount of stress and general discomfort that I feel in my guts (or any given person feels in their guts, how about You?). An that already will help a little with the medical condition. And if the physical activity that I can do, and enjoy, is running, then running should be done.

Let’s look at how running can help lower blood pressure too

Even though once diagnosed and treated with HBP, there is not much you can do about it but take pills for a long long time (read: you most likely will have to take medicine for the rest of your life) there still is hope: it has been reported that a good diet and special exercise routines could minimise the medicine needed (*) or, in cases of the pressure being only minimally elevated, making the pills unnecessary. There are good success stories of people who started running and got their condition under control.

It is a medical fact that hypertension can run in the family (read: genetics) and there is not much we can do about it. Even if one hates pills, and I suppose there are many people who do, on a long run it is better to live longer with a pill than face really dire consequences by not taking them: hbp can damage your heart, liver, kidneys, eyes, you name it, it’s probably on the list.

Running, or for that matter any other exercise – even just a good long walk a day – can reduce these risks and lower the blood pressure by approximately 10 mm Hg, but that often isn’t really enough. So one just has to be smarter and listen both to the doctors, nutritionists and their own body.

It reduces stress, which automatically reduces HBP in your body.

It also releases sweat (well, duh!) which contains bad toxins and generally waste material, and you really do want do get rid of that. The more you run, the more that crap goes out.

It will make any person healthier in general because of a diet one should go with.

Personally, this last thing is still new to me. I never really had a bad eating habit but there are some of them habits that I am trying to cut, like having those two beers after my run (that one being the hardest because I really enjoy it). Looking into good diet plans such as Paleo or Mediterranean diet, or just cutting the fat from your food (including cutting off junk food totally) all plays a great role towards general wellbeing and better health overall. Who wouldn’t want that?

Food that lowers blood pressure

The best advice I have found was to follow the Mediterranean diet (check the Mediterranean Diet for Dummies here on Amazon). There is a well known paradox called the French paradox, goes like this: people from France eat more saturated fats and drink more wine than their European and US friends, but still live longer, better lives, have less heart attacks and are happier and more relaxed than latter. People in US try try to eat healthy and exercise what-not, but still have much more cardio-vascular diseases in general. So what is the secret of those French people?

mediterran diet lowers blood pressure

One of the secrets is the low blood pressure because of the food they eat:

For starters, they eat much more fresh fruits and vegetables, just think of those beautiful salads you see in pictures of Italy of Provence. Then there is extra virgin olive oil used for dressing and generally for everything. A lot of fresh fish full of extraordinarily good Omega 3 fatty acids. All combined with some great red wine and then we can start talking about whole grains, nuts, beans. And then, inevitably less salt (or if you want the medical term: sodium), and low fat. Everything that is low in saturated fat is good. And it also helps the “good fat” do more positive things in your body.

Finally, you cannot forget the garlic which, apart being great for lowering HBP has also numerous other healthy benefits. And it is present in almost every recipe that has anything to do with Mediterranean area.

Other good ideas for lowering blood pressure

Cutting down on alcohol

At least to “good amount” is essential. That probably means 1 glass of red wine per day for women, and max 2 glasses for men. Luckily for me there are some people who say the same for Beer (I mean, benefit) but in the end it all goes back to what one believes or doesn’t.

No smoking

This is a commonplace today, so there is no real need to elaborate, however there are some strange behaviours with people who run or hike much more than the rest of the bunch: many are smokers. So if you are one of those, maybe it’s time to quit, or if not quit then at least cut it in half.


Also a new concept for me (I am still at the 1st lecture: breathe) but I can absolutely see how it makes sense. Just don’t imagine that guy sitting in Lotus pose for 3 hours on a distant beach bothered by nothing. Meditating can be done really fast once you master it, and it can ease your mind into better understanding of your own body, your situation, your likes and loves and make you a better, happier, stronger and most importantly healthier person.



(*) This article is NOT A MEDICAL ADVICE, it is based on a persons own opinion and takes no responsibility whatsoever regarding any issue with the article or it’s impact on your life. You should discuss your own health options with your physician or specialist prior to changing any established routine in your life!
About the author

    Nenad A.

    Runner, hiker, beer drinker, loving husband and a father of the cutest little girl ("has a daughter, a gun, and an alibi"). When not running his company, Nenad is trying to spend time outside. Even if it's only for the sake of a barbecue.

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