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Medical Corner

Medical Newsflash: Exercise Postural Hypotension
Medical Newsflash: Exercise Postural Hypotension

12 February 2018

Hello athletes, the countdown continues, and it’s closing in on race day. In today’s newsflash, we talk about postural hypotension after exercising, and why as runners it is important to know what to do should it affect you.

FACT: Post-exercise postural hypotension occurs after exercising. The longer the run, the higher the risk of occurrence. During a run, your calf muscles normally act as an efficient pump to ensure blood is returned back to the heart to keep up with the demands of exercise. When you immediately stop running or rapidly slow down, the muscle pump action is diminished and can result in the pooling of blood in the lower legs. In some individuals this can cause a significant drop in blood pressure, with resultant dizziness, light-headedness, and even fainting. The symptoms occur more commonly in hot, humid conditions, but can occur in any climate. This condition sounds like a mouthful, but it’s a simple problem that can generally be avoided with the following tips.

How to avoid post exercise postural hypotension:

  • The finish area of the OMTOM marathon has been designed with a collapse zone immediately after the finish line. This encourages no immediate stopping, and for you to keep moving. Slowing down your pace or continuing to walk for a few hundred meters allows your body to gradually re-adjust to the reduced blood flow to the heart.
  • Be aware of hot weather conditions, and keep adequately hydrated
  • If you are at all feeling unwell, please alert a fellow runner or any of our medical personnel on duty

Almost there, keep going!

The OMTOM medical team

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