An individual’s heart rate and blood pressure are reflections of their fitness level. How fast one’s heart rate and blood pressure return to normal post an activity is an excellent indicator of their heart’s health. Want to know how running affects your BP and how long does it take for your BP to return to normal after running? We have the answers!
What is Heart Rate & Blood Pressure?
Exercises like running, jogging, swimming, etc. are beneficial for keeping the heart healthy and improving its capacity to distribute blood efficiently through the body. The vital parameters used for judging the heart’s health are heart rate or pulse beat and blood pressure (BP). Heart Rate is defined as the number of contractions of the heart, i.e. heart beats per minute. Blood pressure is generally expressed in terms of Systolic and Diastolic Pressure. The maximum pressure exerted by the heart to pump blood during one beat is known as systolic pressure; while diastolic pressure refers to the minimum pressure between the beats.
How Long Does It Take For Your BP To Return To Normal After Running?
It is commonly observed that the blood pressure falls slightly below resting levels after running or exercising vigorously and then returns to normal after rest. The heart rate generally returns to normal in a minute or two after running, but blood pressure returns to normal at a slower rate and may take several hours to normalize after running. Consistent aerobic exercise has proven to reduce resting blood pressure readings over time. Studies have shown that running for at least 30 minutes, three or four times a week can help control blood pressure effectively. A cool down period post exercise or running allows breathing and heart rate to regain normal levels gradually and can also help prevent dizziness.
What Are The Normal Levels Of Blood Pressure And Heart Rate?
A systolic reading of 120 and diastolic of 80 is considered to be the normal blood pressure for healthy adults. Blood pressure generally tends to increase in the evening and may read up to 130/85 mmHg. BP decreases slightly after vigorous exercises like running and reads around 110/70 mmHg. The blood pressure of athletes engaged in regular training usually stays in the range of 110/70 mmHg. Blood pressure reading greater than140/90 mmHg is considered high and any reading below 90/60 mmHg is considered low. Either of the extreme readings are alarming and call for medical treatment. Blood pressure is measured at rest, with the individual seated and not engaged in any physical activity. The average resting heart rate for children over 10 years of age and adults is 60 to 100 beats per minute. For well-trained athletes, it is 40 to 60 beats per minute. These resting rates are the basis for comparison post exercise. A high heart rate and high blood pressure reading while resting is responsible for increasing the risk of cardiac diseases independent of other cardiovascular risk factors like high cholesterol.
How Does Running And Exercising Affect The Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure changes differ according to the type of exercise one is engaged in. Aerobic exercises like swimming, cycling and running increase the pressure with which the blood is pumped thereby spiking the systolic reading; while the diastolic reading remains stable. Exercise also helps in enlarging and strengthening the cardiac muscles to further allow the heart to circulate more blood with every beat. This implies that as the heart is strengthened, it can beat slower during activity and even at rest. A low heart rate is thus generally considered to indicate better heart health.
What Are The Signs Of Danger Regarding Blood Pressure After Running?
It has been observed that blood pressure readings of obese people become significantly lower for 24 hours after running or engaging in other aerobic exercise. Any fall in blood pressure during these activities points towards potential heart problems and should be diagnosed by a doctor immediately. Any sudden and considerable dip in blood pressure observed after running, which does not return to near normal levels within 30 minutes or so, also indicates potential cardiac issues. An individual with their blood pressure constantly below 90/60 mmHg should consult a medical professional right away.
Running is undoubtedly a magical mantra for a long and healthy life. It not only keeps one fit, but relieves them of many illnesses too. So to keep the heart strong and cardiac issues at bay…JUST RUN!
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