"High blood pressure makes us worry about everything in life." Someone with high blood pressure issue may surely feel worried that regular exercise will increase the blood pressure to serious levels. However, to your surprising belief, exercises specific for lowering blood pressure levels would greatly help you to have some great relief from the symptoms of high blood pressure. In this article we will talk about some effective exercises to lower blood pressure. Hope this would be a beneficial read for anyone suffering from high blood pressure.
Brief Note on Exercises to Lower Blood Pressure: Your Blood Pressure and the Ability to be Active!
Before we dive in to the exercises for lowering blood pressure; we would love to mention something pretty important about your blood pressure and your ability to be active.
It is so very true that physical activity like exercise will lead to an increase in your blood pressure; but this rise in blood pressure is only for a short time. Your blood pressure soon returns to normal once you are done with your exercises. The quicker you get back your normal blood pressure after activity or exercise, the healthier or fitter you are likely to be. Most people having high blood pressure should be able to increase their level of exercise or physical activity pretty safely.
However, in case one has extremely high pressure, his or her doctor would give you certain medicines for lowering it down before starting you on an exercise programme for lowering blood pressure. It must be noted that in case you have high blood pressure issue, do not start any new exercise programme or any new physical activity without consulting your doctor.
Below you can have a common idea on what levels of blood pressure you need to be concerned about. However it is important for you to note that only your doctor could give you the best advice on your blood pressure and level of activity by having your appropriate diagnosis and examinations.
- Blood pressure below 90/60- You may have low blood pressure and you need doctor's advice before beginning your new exercises
- Blood pressure between 90/60 to 140/90- You are safe to be more active and being active would help you keep your blood pressure in ideal range.
- 140/90 to 179/99- It is safe for you to start increasing your physical activity or exercise for lowering high blood pressure.
- 180/100 to 199/109- It must be noted that you require doctor's advice and consultation before starting any new physical activity or exercise.
- 200/110 and above- It is unsafe to start any exercise or physical activity. Talk to your doctor and take medicines for lowering the blood pressure and proceed on with exercise only when he or she advises.
How Exercises Can Lower Blood Pressure?
Are you wondering on how exercise can lower your blood pressure? Well, the fact is regular physical activity makes our heart stronger and a stronger heart is able to pump more blood with less effort. Now, if the heart can work less to pump then the force exerted on the arteries reduces and this in turn lowers the blood pressure. For some people only exercises can reduce their blood pressure. If you have your blood pressure at a desirable level, i.e. less than 120/180 mm of mercury then by regular exercise you can prevent it from rising as you grow by your age.
How Much Should One Exercise to Lower Your Blood Pressure?
It is always important to know how much exercise works for you to lower the blood pressure. Before we talk about how much amount of exercise is required to lower the blood pressure, we must say that any aerobic activity can be a real effective one to control your high blood pressure issues. However, it is also important for you to have weight lifting exercises or the flexibility and strengthening exercises for an overall fitness plan.
Now, you do not actually need to spend hours in the gym every single day for getting the benefits out of aerobic activity. You can simply add moderate amount of physical activities to your regular routine for your results. Some of the physical activities that increase the heart rate and rate of breathing can be effective aerobic activities.
As per Department of Health and Human Services, having at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity in a week can be fair enough to lower your blood pressure. You can aim for at last half an hour of aerobic exercises most days of the week. If you do not have enough time then you can also break the 30 minutes of workout session in to three 10 minutes of session and get equal benefits in lowering blood pressure. You can go for about 30 minutes of brisk walking in a day, for 5 days in a week or can go for 20 minutes of jogging in a day for 4 days a week or can look for some other exercises that benefit you in lowering your pressure.
It is important to note, that you must also consider a 10 minutes of warm-up before starting your exercises and few minutes of cooling down after your exercises.
Exercises to Lower Blood Pressure:
We must mention that your exercise session must include three important things which can be done in three different phases. They are:
- Warm-ups/Warm up Phase: Here you need to spend at least 10 minutes to warm up your body before beginning your exercises. This would help prevent the risk of injury while exercising. Older people can go for a longer period of warm up phase in their exercise sessions.
- Conditioning/Conditioning Phase: This is the phase which gets you the real benefits of exercising and aids you in lowering your blood pressure. This phase follows the warm up phase of your exercising session. Here, you can perform all the exercises that benefit you in lowering your blood pressure; including brisk walking, jogging, bicycling, running, swimming, weight training etc. We will talk more about the exercises to lower blood pressure in this session below.
- Cooling Down/Cooling Phase: Cooling down is important for you as it helps your heart to gradually come down from an active phase to a resting phase. You must go for few minutes of cooling down before ending up your exercising session for lowering blood pressure.
Here we come to our topic of interest in the article where we will talk about some exercises that can help you lower your blood pressure.
Weight Training Exercise to Lower Blood Pressure: Weight training exercises can temporarily increase your blood pressure dramatically depending on how much weight you are lifting. However, it has long term benefits to blood pressure that outweigh the risk of temporary spike for most people with high blood pressure. Weight training is also important for overall cardiovascular health and aids you in reducing the risks from various cardiovascular problems.
It is however important for you to follow some precautions before going for weight training if you have high blood pressure. We have mentioned them below.
- Start with lighter weights
- Don't hold your breath, instead breathe easily while weight lifting
- Immediately stop the weight training when you feel seriously dizzy or out of breath.
- Above all, consult with your doctor before going for weight training.
Aerobic or Cardiovascular Exercises to Lower Blood Pressure: Aerobic exercises or cardiovascular exercises help you in lowering your blood pressure and also make your heart stronger. You can go for any of the aerobic exercises you feel effective and enjoyable for you.
Basketball, tennis, and other active sports, walking, jogging, cycling, dancing, swimming, climbing stairs, and also the household works like gardening or scrubbing the floor etc are some aerobic activities that can be considered as effective exercises for lowering blood pressure.
Stretching Exercises to help lower blood pressure: Stretches are essential for you to include in your fitness and exercise program for lowering blood pressure because it makes you more flexible, aids you to move in a better way and helps you prevent injury.
Practice Deep Breathing Exercises for Lowering Blood Pressure: Deep breathing regularly can be a magical exercise to control high blood pressure. It is in fact known that practising breath control can help you lower blood pressure. Make sure you are breathing regularly all throughout your warm up phase, exercise routine and cool down phase.
When to Talk with a Doctor?
Be aware that you need to meet a doctor before jumping in to exercises to lower blood pressure in case you meet with the following conditions or suffer from the diseases mentioned below.
- If you are overweight or if you are obese
- In case you are above 45 years (in case of men) or above 55 years( In case of women).
- If you smoke or if you have quit smoking in the past 6 months
- In case you had a heart attack
- If you have a family history of heart related problems before age of 55 years in men and before 65 years in women.
- If you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure
- In case you feel pain or discomfort in your neck, jaw, arms or chest while exercising or activity.
- If you go out of breathe with exertion.
Few Essential Tips to Note While Exercising to Lower Blood Pressure:
It is important for you to note down few important tips while exercising for lowering blood pressure. Read below to know about them.
- Make sure you exercise at the same time every day.
- Wear comfortable clothing while you are exercising
- Note your blood pressure before and after exercising.
- Stop exercising immediately and seek medical care in case you experience any hazardous signs while exercising, like chest pain, or tightness, dizziness, faintness, going out of breath, etc
- In order to lower the risk of injury or any harmful signs while exercising to lower blood pressure, start exercising slowly and do not forget to warm up before and cool down after exercising.
Some Great Ideas That Makes Effective Exercises to Lower Blood Pressure:
Here we will let you know about some great ideas that make effective exercises to lower blood pressure.
- One of the greatest ideas to lower blood pressure is prefer walking whenever you can. Walking being an aerobic activity can help you lower blood pressure.
- Choose climbing stairs instead of taking help of elevators whenever possible. This would be a wonderful exercise to lower blood pressure.
- If you have kids, try to have a running race with them. That would be a great way for you to be engaged in running and keep your kids entertained.
- You can also go for a bicycling or riding with your kids or you friends. This would be an exercise for lowering you blood pressure.
- You can choose gardening as one of your best hobbies that can also help you reduce blood pressure.
- Carrying your groceries can also be a great idea to lower your blood pressure.
Here we have come to the end of our topic, "Exercises to lower blood pressure." Hope you must have found it interesting and beneficial to some extent. Make sure you keep it safe while exercising if you have high blood pressure. Accordingly eat healthy, have plenty water and also avoid alcohol to boost the effects of your exercises for lowering blood pressure. Keep a note to talk to your doctor before planning to exercise and monitor your blood pressure on a regular basis.