Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Blood Pressure Droppings

I mentioned yesterday that I had checked my blood pressure before and after my long run.

What I didn't mention was that Doug and I bought an at-home blood pressure monitor a few weeks ago. We thought it might be a good idea and I liked the ability to check my blood pressure at different times to see what it does.

I thought it might also give me a clue as to why my ears plug up on longer runs, particularly in warmer temperatures.

I noticed a few things pretty quickly once I started testing.

I noticed that my blood pressure seems to drop when I exercise. My readings were consistently lower after a workout than before.

I also noticed that my readings at home are always lower than they seem to be in the doctor or the dentist office. Not sure if its mild stress of being in a medical appointment or slight differences in monitors but it is nice to see that my blood pressure, at home at least, it always below 120/80.

Sunday's run though was a little freaky.

I was 112/80 right before I headed out for my run.

The run went well in terms of energy but it was a struggle for a few reasons. My heart rate stayed in the high 160s no matter how slowly I ran. My ears plugged up starting at about 10k and kept filling for the rest of the run. By the time I got home I felt heavy and sluggish even though my legs still felt pretty fresh.

Post-run blood pressure: 78/52 (I checked it twice more to be sure)

That seems to me to be a pretty significant drop.

An hour later, it was 90/59. An hour after that it was 93/58 and two hours after that it was 102/67.

I'm not sure what any of this means. When I look up 'blood pressure dropping with exercise' I read that it can be anything from heart disease to dehydration.

I think at this point I'll continue to do before and after exercise checks to see if this happens again and I'll keep track of the numbers. In May I'm back at the diabetes centre so I'll see if they have anything to say.


  1. I'm almost certain it's related to your hydration. A decrease in hydration means a reduction in blood volume, which in turn leads to lower blood pressure. Reduced blood volume also makes it harder to cool your body, since there's less fluid to absorb the heat away from your muscles and move it away. And (obviously) you have less to sweat out. Drink up!

    1. Do you think it could also be due to the change in circulation?

      What I mean is that when you're running, blood flow is directed to heart/lungs/leg muscles and away from not-so-vital-while-exercising things like the intestines and your extremities.

      My other theory is that when you exercise, your arteries dilate and move closer to the surface because of the increased heart rate and body temperature which would cause your blood pressure to drop.