What Is The Best Exercise For High Blood Pressure [That Works]

Exercising your way to lower blood pressure is great for heart health! But What Is The Best Exercise For High Blood Pressure?

Clearly, Aerobic exercises are the best!  Aerobic activity, sometimes referred to as cardio,  done for 30-60 minutes most days of the week improves heart and blood pressure.

Aerobic Exercises For High Blood Pressure

  • Cycling, either outdoors or on stationary bikes
  • Brisk walking
  • Jogging
  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Dancing
  • Mowing the lawn

Why Aerobic Exercises Are Best For Cardio

Being able to sustain increased heart and breathing rates for extended periods of time (30-60 minutes) is the key to the benefits of aerobics.  When you’re doing aerobic exercises, you’re increasing your heart rate, pumping a lot of highly oxygenated blood to the muscles you’re working, and widening blood vessels.

Aerobic exercises use repetitive and rhythmic movements that depend on larger muscles and more oxygen. Using your legs, arms and shoulders pump a lot of oxygen-rich blood through your system at a fast rate. This extra force of your heart pumping at higher rates naturally strengthens your heart muscle, arteries, and blood vessels.

Is It Safe To Exercise With High Blood Pressure?

There is a definite link between inactivity and elevated BP and there’s a definite link between elevated bp and heart disease. So most any cardio activity you can add to your lifestyle is great for controlling blood pressure.

The safest way to get your cardio exercise is with home cardio workout equipment. With as little as 30 minutes a day in your own home, you can improve your health, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, energy levels and more.

The truth is that you’re going to be a lot safer with more exercise!

Your blood pressure should increase during the actual cardio exercise time, but start returning to normal when you stop.  The more fit your heart and circulatory system, the faster it and your heart rate will return to normal.

Most people on medication, or dealing with blood pressures between 90/60 and 140/90 should be quite safe with increasing their physical activity. If your pressure is extremely high and/or you’re not on medication — see your doctor before you start any exercise program.

Does exercise lower blood pressure immediately?

The best exercise for high blood pressure

Not likely! If you want to see an immediate reduction, try this:

  • Drink a lot of water
  • Stop everything with caffeine, sugar, and alcohol
  • Eat Plenty of fresh and raw fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid salt, especially in pre-packaged and processed foods

The truth is that eating a healthy diet even play a bigger part in high blood pressure than physical activity! But either without the other reaps only part of the results you need.

You can’t really expect a healthy body and circulatory system when you aren’t putting the food in it, can you? Your best bet is lifestyle changes that include eating a healthy diet, along with exercise.

How Much Exercise Do You Need?

If you find yourself on the couch or sitting in an office chair all day, just getting up and moving around is helpful. But when it comes to cardio exercise — a minimum of 30 minutes most days of the week.

The point of exercise to reduce your blood pressure has a lot to do with getting your heart rate up and keeping there for a few minutes.

So the time to schedule should be from 30 to 60 minutes a day at least 4 – 5 days a week. Even though I read that you can break the time up into different sessions, the best results come from at least 30 minutes at the time.

How Often Do I Need To Exercise For Hypertension?

While anything beats nothing, most days of the week will be the best practice for a hypertension exercise program. It’s important to mention that if you’re accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle, start out with less time and fewer days. That is if you want to avoid sore muscles and no energy the next day.

If you are used to being inactive, I would suggest starting out by scheduling short and easy walks of 30 minutes or less, to start with. Even if you’re planning to move to more aggressive walking, jogging or running, cycling or swimming: comfortable paced walking for a week or so will help you regain strength and flexibility.

Ways to Have More Physical Activity In Your Life

If you’re not into gyms or starting anything remotely resembling an “exercise program, I’ve got good news for you!

Just try getting more active in your daily life and a heart healthy diet and you could see real results. Most people today live a pretty inactive life, so you probably have several places to add more body motion to your day.

What is the best exercise for high blood pressure
Finding ways for more exercise for high blood pressure.

Here are some ways to get physically active and improve your health:

  • Go for a walk during your lunch break
  • Get off the bus earlier, and walk farther
  • Ditch the elevator and climb the stairs
  • Try riding a bicycle or walking some places that you’ve been using the car
  • Take the dog for long walks
  • Mow the lawn yourself

To tell you the truth, unless you’re already exercising on a regular schedule, I doubt there’s a best exercise. Just getting a mindset of living a healthy lifestyle that includes a lot of physical activity is going to take you in the right direction.

How To Make Room For Exercise In My Day?

Every individual needs to do something that makes you breathe harder, and get warmer for 1/2 hour at least 5 days a week. This doesn’t need to be extreme, but does need to be exercise: and what you do at work generally doesn’t count.

If you’re like most people, including regular time into your day to exercise is difficult at first. For myself, staying determined to improve my health for a couple of months with planned activity each day — built a habit. And habits are difficult to break.

Starting slow and enjoying your new lifestyle.

By starting out with 15 or 20 minutes a day, you will start building strength, determination, and actually experiencing improvements. If you’re having a difficult time sticking to a routine, try inviting someone to join in your activities with you. There’s plenty of advantages to exercising alone and with company.

It’s going to be a lot harder to keep up with your program if it’s drudgery and punishment, so, by all means, find something you enjoy. Sometimes I may stop walking or running, and after a few days, it’s easy to see how much better I felt when I was exercising.  It won’t be long before you will see the benefits of your own labors.

Benefits of Cardio Exercise

When you join a healthy diet, lifestyle and cardio exercise like walking, cycling, running, jogging you increase your heart rate for short periods of time. That exercise aides in strengthening your entire cardiovascular system. Here are a few benefits of doing cardio:

1. Keep A Healthy Heart

Your heart is a muscle the same as the calf of your leg or your bicep? That’s right, your heart is a muscle and like any other muscle — work and exercise keeps it healthy. Exercising your heart means getting your heart rate up and holding it there for a sustained period of time.

When you elevate your heart rate with exercise you keep it strong and healthy, decreasing your risk of heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, you need at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise to improve cardiovascular health.

2. Boost Immunity

  • Physical exercise can help you flush out bacteria from your lungs and airways. By flushing out the harmful bacteria from your lungs you naturally reduce your chances for colds, flu, and many other common illnesses.
  • White blood cells are your body’s immune system, and physical activity gets them circulating more rapidly. That means they’re on the job to detect illness quickly.
  • While you’re doing cardio or aerobic exercises, your body temperature elevates, and this helps fight off infections.
  • Stress is known as the silent killer, and physical activity slows down the release of stress hormones.

3. Improved Circulation

You promote cell growth and organ function by increasing the blood flow throughout your body. Cardio causes your heart to pump faster and full force. Cardio exercise on a regular schedule makes your heart strong and lowers your resting heart rate when you’re relaxing.

Aerobic exercises improve blood circulation and blood pressure flows more evenly and smoothly and can help in reducing your blood pressure and hypertension.

Monitoring Your Blood Pressure At Home

Because your bp fluctuates so much during the day, it’s not realistic to depend totally on the readings from the doctors’ office. Besides your body movement, or lack thereof, and diet many people deal with “white coat syndrome”. Whitecoat syndrome is real and simply means that your readings go above normal in the presence of doctors and nurses.

Best exercises for high blood pressure may need a home monitor
Monitoring At Home for High Blood Pressure

Monitoring pressure at home creates an accurate picture of your blood pressure during daily life and allows you to see if your lifestyle changes and/or medications are helping. Having your own monitor could make you feel more in control of your own health, or have opposite effects.

Some people find that home monitoring increases their anxiety and may even start obsessing and checking the readings too often. If you think you will fit that category, don’t bother with it.

Conclusion

Any physical activity that you can add to your life can help lower blood pressure. The benefits of aerobic exercise along with a healthy diet are substantial for your entire cardiovascular system and general health and worth your time and effort.

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10 thoughts on “What Is The Best Exercise For High Blood Pressure [That Works]”

  1. Thanks so much for this very informative and in-depth article on the best exercise for high blood pressure.

    I believe exercise is the key to alleviating a lot of illnesses not only high blood pressure but ailments such has arthritis too.

    However, I believe it is the combination of exercise and good eating habits is best. If you exercise regularly, but eat junk food all day, you’re not going to be very healthy. What do you think?

    • Thanks for stopping by Barb

      No doubt that it takes exercise and healthy eating habits to stay in good health with good blood pressure levels. Actually you can inherit some of the factors that cause hypertension, and then you need to do even more about staying healthy, and you can never go wrong with aerobic/cardio exercises.

  2. I have had high blood pressure for awhile now and I use to have it under control by running a few days per week until the birth of my son came along. The running stopped and the blood pressure went back up so I can fully agree on how cardio and help keep your BP in normal ranges. Now that he is a little older it’s time to get back on the horse again and get that cardio going.

    • HI and thanks for reading this post on exercising for high blood pressure, because exercise is so important to our health. 

      We all seem to spend more time sitting these days, and our body takes a real beating from not enough physical activity. Most anything that involves moving on your feet instead of a sedentary lifestyle is better than nothing, and the more aerobic exercise you can get, the better your blood pressure will be, no matter who you are.

  3. I agree that diet is a key part of making sure we have the right fuel in our bodies and a healthy system. I have the hardest time wanting to exercise. I have tried so many different programs and methods. My wife is thinking about getting an elliptical with our tax return. We tried subscribing to a service called Daily Burn but our internet is to slow to load it. I do walk when I can but live in western WA where it rains all the time. I really liked all the different ways you recommended just fitting exercise in with different things we do every day anyway.

    • HI Michael

      I’m glad I’m not alone when it comes to making myself exercise for high blood pressure! And I never know why it’s so difficult to stick to my exercise program — because I am well aware of how much better I feel when I do? 

      I try to walk or jog most days of the week and am quite aware that my health, blood pressure, weight,energy levels, and longevity all depend on it. Good luck on using your elliptical regularly.  My Schwinn airdyne sits in the corner all by itself collecting dust?

      In the end I think staying conscious of the benefits of exercise and trying your best to develop a habit is the key to lower blood pressure, the will power to stay on a good diet, and staying healthy. 

  4. This caught my eye because I have always said I don’t ever want to have to deal with high blood pressure. I am 64, my doctor says my readings are normal. I kind of got into a sedentary lifestyle after surgery, but recently I started at the gym. Based on your article it seems I need to step up the workouts a bit. I want to do something fun like dancing. Thank you for the tips !

    • Hi JJ

      I say keep up the good work on your blood pressure! Diet and exercise are the keys to longevity, and who wants longevity without the health to keep living the lifestyle you like to live?

      Dancing is a great exercise for healthy blood pressure! Even though this post is about doing cardio to lose weightyou might find some interesting ways to exercise in it.

      Thanks for stopping by, and leaving a comment JJ

  5. My mother is suffering from high blood pressure but she does not have the time to actually workout because she is so pre-occupied with her work. I have been trying to get her to exercise but she wouldn’t listen to me. Fortunately, I came across this article so that I can show it to her and hopefully she listens. *fingers crossed*

    • Thanks Rab for your comments

      High blood pressure is one of those “silent killers” because there is no symptoms, and it’s easy to deny that it’s harmful.

      Sometimes the best approach to getting someone to be proactive about their high blood pressure and exercising is just to talk about how dangerous high BP is, and how it can end life in many ways prematurely. Once I started thinking about the toll my blood pressure was taking on my health and lifestyle, I started being more aggressive about lowering it.

      Good luck with your mother, and her own BP

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