The Best Exercises for People with High Blood Pressure

Exercise is a great way to prevent or lower high blood pressure. Some people even use exercise to get off of hypertension medications.

As you would expect, some exercises are more effective at lowering blood pressure, and (of course) you should talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise, especially if you’re currently dealing with hypertension.

The Best Exercises for People with High Blood Pressure

Best Exercises for Hypertension

I’ve compiled a list of the top five exercises for lowering blood pressure. As a rule of thumb, stop doing an exercise if it makes you feel dizziness, weakness or chest pain.

1. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Many people love HIIT because it burns lots of calories and boosts metabolism in just a few minutes. Well, you will be happy to know that HIIT is more effective than moderate intensity exercises at improving resting heart rate and blood pressure, according to research.

It’s not advisable to start doing HIIT right away, if you’re out of shape. Improve your fitness with easier exercises, like walking and jogging, and then advance to HIIT as you get fitter.

2. Isometric Exercises

Isometric exercises involve the contraction of a particular muscle while staying in a static position. A good example is wall sits. Even though they do not involve any movement, these exercises actually build muscle and strength.

According to this study, isometric training is an effective way to reduce resting blood pressure.

3. Swimming

It may be hard for you to perform the two types of exercises above, if you also have joint problems. But since swimming is a non-weight bearing exercise, you can use it to reduce your blood pressure while going easy on your joints.

You can even incorporate HIIT into your swimming routine. For instance, you could alternate 30 seconds of freestyle with one minute of a light swim.

The results of this study showed that swimming four times a week for 12 weeks helped reduce systolic blood pressure by nine points in women over the age of 50.

Couple walking a dog in the park

4. Walking

Walking is one of the easiest exercises for anyone to engage in. And if you walk consistently, you can reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, improve heart health and lower the risk of diabetes.

Research shows that walking consistently for six years can lower the risk of blood pressure by 7.2 percent, so use these tricks to increase your steps every day.

5. Strength Training

Lifting weights is the first thing that comes to mind when most people hear of strength training. But realize that bodyweight exercises are just as effective.

On top of lowering blood pressure, strength training increases muscle and bone mass.

Avoid lifting very heavy weights. It’s better to use moderately heavy weights and do more repetitions. Also, avoid holding your breath. Remember to breathe in and out after every rep.

Bonus: Other Aerobic Exercises

Other aerobic exercises—such as climbing stairs, running, cycling and dancing—are also effective at reducing blood pressure.

Images via Getty

52 comments

Ingrid A
Ingrid A5 days ago

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill7 days ago

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Marija M
Marija M7 days ago

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Ruth S7 days ago

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Ruth S
Ruth S7 days ago

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Tabot T
Tabot T7 days ago

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Leo C
Leo C7 days ago

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Danuta W8 days ago

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Christine Stewart
Christine S8 days ago

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Mike R
Mike R8 days ago

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