I've had two doctor's appointments this week - eye and gynecologist. Both send my stress levels right through the roof. Regarding the eye doctor - I am considered a "glaucoma suspect" due to family history of glaucoma and relatively high eye pressure (22, 23, 24 over the last few years). Every year I think that this is the year they tell me I have glaucoma and need to start on eye drops. To make a long story short, my last eye appointment was last May. Eye pressure was 23/24ish. In July I started running for exercise - usually 3/4 times a week, 2-3 miles a time. I started slowly as I am not a runner and not young. But I kept with it. Fast forward to last Monday, when I had my eye exam. I was shocked to discover that my eye pressure was reduced to 18/20! I asked the doctor is the running had anything to do with it and he said that there are studies that indicate that even mild aerobic activity can help eye pressure. I don't know if it was the running, but I am thrilled with the now "normal" pressure!
Today I had my gynecologist appointment. I hate it when they take my pulse, as my resting pulse rate is always high and worse when I am nervous. Usually at a doctor's appointment it is in the 90s. Today it was 72. A resting pulse of 72 despite the fact I was anxious and had coffee this morning! I was thrilled. Again, I don't know if the running helped lower my pulse rate by 20 points, but I'll take it.
I just wanted to pass along what I perceive as the benefits of running, or any aerobic activity. I am not someone who loves exercise, but to see this kind of health benefit in a year for me is thrilling. Plus, I have lost 10 pounds and my clothes actually fit better! Disclaimer - check with your doctor before you start anything strenuous, as running, etc., are not appropriate for everyone.