• Dmitri Konash

5 Best Breathing Exercise Apps to Lower Blood Pressure

Breathing to lower blood pressure is the best natural tool to address hypertension


Breathing to lower blood pressure
Breathing to lower blood pressure

Challenges of managing high blood pressure


According to the World Health Organization over 1.1 billion people across the world suffer from high blood pressure, or hypertension [1]. Most people who suffer from high blood pressure believe that a hypertension medicine is the only way to fix this chronic condition. However hypertension pills have different side effects which have negative health impacts.


The good news is that in many cases one can lower high blood pressure naturally without medications [2]. Breathing exercises to lower blood pressure naturally is probably the easiest of them [3]. This blog post explains how to lower blood pressure through breathing and presents the 5 best breathing exercise apps. As someone who has suffered from hypertension in the past, I found that breathing exercises to lower blood pressure are a great natural tool to cope with this chronic condition.


What is high blood pressure?


High blood pressure is a higher-than-normal force of blood against walls of blood vessel walls. It forces the heart to work harder and hence creates a risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, i.e. stroke. According to the guidelines of the American College of Cardiology [4], the normal blood pressure is under 120/80 mm HG. People are more likely to develop hypertension if they have a family history of this condition, as they age or become overweight.


How to lower blood pressure immediately?


Here are the natural ways to address high blood pressure long term: manage weight, become physically active, eat healthy food, enjoy adequate sleep and manage stress. If you want to lower blood pressure quickly at home consider the following natural ways: acupressure for high blood pressure, breathing to lower blood pressure, exercise for high blood pressure, meditation for high blood pressure. Always talk to your doctor about the optimal way to combine natural ways to lower blood pressure with hypertension meds.


Why breathing to lower blood pressure?


Slow controlled breathing is one of the best ways to lower high blood pressure. When our breathing is slow, it sends a message to the brain to relax. The brain then routes this message to the body, activating the parasympathetic nervous system responsible for the ‘rest and digest behaviour’. Our blood vessels are dilated and the blood pressure calms down. This article [5] provides a detailed scientific explanation why breathing exercises work well for high blood pressure and anxiety.


The video below presents a simple 3 min breathing exercise. Just follow onscreen guidance and lower blood pressure immediately





When to use breathing exercises to lower blood pressure?


Breathing exercises are likely to lower blood pressure quickly. Take blood pressure readings before and after breathing. Once you have tried them and found that they actually work well, it is time to work out a daily routine. It is a good idea to practice breathing exercises on a regular basis, several times per day. You may also use breathing exercises to lower blood pressure in the following cases.

  • Before taking a blood pressure reading in the doctor’s office to avoid a “white coat syndrome”

  • Before a stressful situation at work, i.e. important meeting.

  • Before reacting in a negative way, such as getting angry with your family member

How to lower blood pressure through breathing?


1. 48 slow breathing. 1 Minute.


Works great in most situations when you have just 1 minute to reduce stress, i.e. during a family argument or an important business meeting. Relax your face muscles and repeat 5-6 times the following breathing pattern: inhale for 4 seconds, exhale for 8 seconds. The longer you breathe applying this pattern, the more relaxed you become, which helps immensely to lower high blood pressure.


2. 4-7-8 Breathing. 5-10 Minutes.


Great exercise for more relaxation, i.e. when you need to lower anxiety or high blood pressure after returning home from work. Also, this is a great exercise to do in bed for a better night's sleep. Here is a breathing pattern for this exercise.

  • Take a deep, slow breath from your belly, and silently count to 4 as you breathe in.

  • Hold your breath, and silently count from 1 to 7.

  • Breathe out completely as you silently count from 1 to 8.

  • Repeat for at least one minute. Effectiveness increases with longer exercise duration.

3. Breathing plus walking exercises. 10+ Minutes


Once you have tried the two breathing exercises above, the next logical step is to expand structured breathing into other activities. For those who have a habit of walking regularly the best option is to integrate breathing into your walking routine and achieve the double benefit: physical exercise + breathing!

As you walk, inhale to the count of four, pause for three counts and then exhale for six counts. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Walk in cadence with your breath: your breath and your strides should follow the rhythmic count of four. We breathe in over four steps, pause for three steps and then breathe out over six steps.


5 Best breathing apps


1. Breathwork, www.breathwrk.com

The most popular breathing app with a wide range of breathing exercises. Learn and feel the power of breathing with guided exercises that are backed by science and research.


Who will benefit most from it? Whether you're dealing with excess stress, panic attacks, a racing mind at night, lack of focus, low energy, can’t get out of bed in the morning, or want to increase your athletic ability, there’s a breath for that.

2. Calm, www.calm.com


This is the number 1 app for meditation and sleep. Calm is an award-winning app that has calming exercises, breathing techniques to help you relax, and sleep stories to help you sleep. The Sleep Stories section features a mix of voice talent: Matthew McConaughey, Jerome Flynn and others.


Who will benefit most from it? Anyone who needs help to deal with anxiety or sleep challenges and enjoys great app designs.

3. iBreathe, www.jadelizardsoftware.com/ibreathe


Showcased in Healthline's best Meditation Apps for 2020, iBreathe is a simple yet powerful app to help guide you through deep breathing exercises. This very simple, beautifully designed app reduces clutter to ensure a mindful and centered experience.


Who will benefit most from it? For those who are struggling with stress, anxiety, insomnia, or are trying to meditate and relax, iBreathe provides an easy-to-use, beautifully designed user interface

4. Breethe, www.breethe.com


A breathing and meditation app packed with various content. Playlists, readings & stories, guided meditations & masterclasses, 12-week daily program, options for kids & teens, reminders, syncs across multiple devices. Lots of contents dictate a high price tag - it is the most expensive app on this list.


Who will benefit most from it? Those dealing with sleep issues.

5. BreatheNow


BreathNow is a powerful app with a simple and elegant design created specifically to help lower blood pressure with breathing exercises and other natural tools: acupressure, meditation and exercises. Track your blood pressure and heart rate and analize which activities had the highest positive impact. Print out reports or share them with your doctor via email.




Who will benefit most from it? Those who want to lower anxiety and high blood pressure with breathing exercises and other natural tools.

Summary

  • There are scientifically proven techniques to lower blood pressure naturally without meds

  • One of the most efficient are breathing exercises to lower blood pressure naturally

  • There are several breathings apps on the market with breathing to lower blood pressure

References

1. WHO, Hypertension

2. 10 Ways to control high blood pressure without medications, mayoclinic.org

3. High blood pressure - this breathing exercise is ‘one of most effective’ for hypertension, express.co.uk

4. New ACC/AHA High Blood Pressure Guidelines Lower Definition of Hypertension

5. Breath of Life: The Respiratory Vagal Stimulation Model of Contemplative Activity


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