After getting married, and moving across the country my weight had crept up to a high around 230. But after starting karate classes, it came down to around 210. Starting about 10 years ago when I was in my mid 30′s, I was diagnosed with elevated blood pressure. It was just a little high. My doctor has been monitoring it ever since, and has prescribed a low dose of Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) and for a while Lisinipril as well.
I made a conscious effort to lower my weight further, and got it down into the 180s. He had me come off the meds. But my blood pressure was still high. So I was put back on the HCTZ. So here I was being very active, and having lowered my weight significantly, and my blood pressure was still up there.
In mid-2006 I started running. I ran a couple marathons and ran up to 50 miles a week. My weight dropped further into the 170′s and even into the 160s. Surely this would have lowered my blood pressure? Well it didn’t seem to have much effect. The doctor explained that my blood pressure was probably more genetic that related to my life style.
Yesterday I had my twice a year check up. The nurse measured my blood pressure at 122/76. The doctor came in a bit later and messured it again at 117/76. Basically very good numbers. They also measured my HR at 48. My weight yesterday was around 168. The doctor is going to have me stop taking the HCTZ again and come back in a month to see in my blood pressure is still down.
I think my more intense training is having a beneficial effect. In my early marathon training, I mostly did long easy runs, trying to stay in my aerobic zones. My more recent training has involve more speedwork. I run intervals on Mondays, tempo runs on Wednesdays, and long runs of Saturdays. The intervals and tempo runs really get my heart rate up and hold it there for a chunk of time. For example, I ran a 5k as part of my tempo run last night at a 6:45 pace (finished in 20:55 for a new 5k PR). My HR started off around 166, and slowly climbed. By the end it was up to around 183, and I was breathing very hard. My max heart rate is around 194-196. But I think these intense training runs have helped to lower my blood pressure.
It will be interesting to see if my blood pressure stays down without the meds. I have my own blood pressure measuring device at home, so I can monitor it.