HEALTHY HEART BLOG

Exercise tips to help lower blood pressure

Exercise tips to help lower blood pressure

Being active and exercising is one of the key ways you can lower your blood pressure. Even if you are not someone who is used to taking part in regular exercise, adding a small amount into your routine can help. 


Being active to aid weight management

If you are trying to lose weight, it can be really difficult, especially as we adapt to new health routines to stay safe at home. However the fact is that body fat reduction is a good way to control and lower your blood pressure. BMI, or body mass index, is related to your blood pressure. As your BMI increases, the blood pressure increases with it and vice versa. That is why obese people are at a high risk of developing hypertension.

One way to manage your weight and your BMI, is through exercise combined with a healthy diet. Running is a great choice of exercise because it can burn a lot of fat and calories, whilst also getting your heart rate up. Even if you are not a massive fan of running or any form of exercise, studies have found that even small levels of weight loss for those who are overweight can positively impact your blood pressure levels. Regular aerobic exercise can improve circulation and lower blood pressure.

Stand up from time to time

Sitting all day is a leading cause of obesity. Adults spend a lot of time sitting, whether this is at work, in the evening or when in the car or on public transport. Taking regular breaks is important, and adding activity into these breaks is a great way to incorporate exercise into your current routine. Take a short walk to the local park or supermarket in your lunch break to help you get fresh air and add an easy level of physical activity to your day. 

A study found that taking part in any level intensity activity can help to lower blood pressure, whether this is walking, jogging or cycling. Do ensure to follow your local guidelines for what activities are permitted during lockdown. 


Weight lifting 

Maybe you have heard a lot of good things about weight lifting, and you want to try it, but you are not sure if it is going to affect your blood pressure in a good or a bad way. 

Weightlifting has a lot of benefits on your blood pressure, just like any activity does, but you need to know all the facts before you start. Weightlifting can cause a temporary (during weightlifting session) increase in blood pressure. This increase can be dramatic, depending on how much weight you lift and some other factors. Regular exercise, including moderate weightlifting, provides many health benefits, including helping to lower blood pressure in the long term. 

But if you have hypertension (high blood pressure), you may want to discuss with your doctor before you increase the intensity of your workouts. Because when it comes to weight lifting and hypertension, there are some precautions and safety measures. Your doctor can help you develop an exercise program tailored to your needs and medical conditions.

The combination of dynamic aerobic exercises with weight training would provide optimal benefit to lower blood pressure.

Make it fun 

Exercising doesn’t have to be boring. You can listen to audiobooks and podcasts while walking, or create a playlist of your favourite songs for running or cycling. Try a new work out video at home such as a dance class to mix things up and keep it fun.

Nemanja Marinkoff is editor-in-chief at WalkJogRun. He’s a marketing expert, and he’s interested in all things related to basketball. He also loves marzipan, although his wife hates it. You can find him on Twitter

Last updated: May 5, 2020