Exercise To Lower Blood Pressure
Updated: May 29
How I brought my blood pressure to 120/80 with exercise, why everyone can do it and how to start
Can you lower hypertension with lifestyle changes (no meds)?
It is common knowledge that high blood pressure increases the risk of CVD (cardiovascular disease) and stroke. High blood pressure is medically known as hypertension.
Yes, one can definitely reduce hypertension with stress management, physical exercise and nutrition changes. I know it first hand. My doctor advised me to start with calming activities (breathing exercises, meditation), add moderate aerobic exercise and progress with time to short High Intensity Interval Exercise (HIIT). This approach helped me to fix blood pressure in less than a year.
5 Step plan to exercise to lower blood pressure
IMPORTANT: Talk to your doctor before starting a new fitness program and agree how to integrate it into your overall treatment plan.
Step 1. Make Exercise Fun
Benefits of exercise can be achieved with moderate intensity workouts of just 30 minutes a day. Walking, riding a bike with the kids or doing housework are all exercises for lower blood pressure and a good start .
I admit, I started exercising at the age of 48 not for fun reasons. My doctor really scared me. He said that unless I change my lifestyle and start exercising, I will soon develop a CVD. I started from walking and then jogging for 20-30 min after work every day in a nearby park.
I saw improvements in BP readings after two weeks and approximately at that time I actually started to enjoy this exercise to low blood pressure. These runs gave me an opportunity to calm down after work, reflect on my day and enjoy family dinners after that.
Step 2. Find a program or coach you trust
It doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to sign for a gym. The benefits of having a coach are safety and encouragement. Your doctor can provide you with initial coaching advice to exercising to lower blood pressure. You may want to download one of the fitness mobile apps or online fitness program. Read reviews carefully to make sure that you are engaging with a trustworthy program.
Your routine should be developed based on your underlying health and current capability. I was lucky as a friend introduced me to an experienced coach 5 years older than me. He understood well specifics of working with mature clients with health challenges. Together we built a training plan which was challenging but at the same time helped me to avoid injuries and overtraining.
Step 3: Start gradually
If you haven't exercised in a while, start slowly with lowering blood pressure exercises to prevent injuries. Begin with 15-30 minutes of exercise which you really like, such as walking in nature. Gradually increase the duration and pace, i.e. move from walking to slow jogging.
Most likely over few weeks you will observe that your blood pressure is getting lower. Sometimes moderate-level aerobic activities, such as brisk walking for 30 minutes a day, may be enough to decrease medications.
Exercise itself can reduce blood pressure readings by as much as 5-15 mmHg. Update your doctor regularly on the progress you make with exercise for high blood pressure so she could adjust your medications accordingly.