Basics

Is It Wise to Exercise to Lower Blood Pressure

Hypertension patients have a fear that dynamic activity can increase their blood pressure, so they do not like to exert themselves much. While overexertion does increase blood pressure, daily short duration low-intensity exercises can help control hypertension much quicker in addition to medication intake rather than if they do not exercise at all.

Hypertension medication continues as it is for life and therefore any additional measures you take to help control high blood pressure can work positively for a better quality of life for you. It can help improve your spirits because you have better control over your hypertension.

High BP patients need to start exercising on a low key note. Walking for half an hour daily can be a good starting point. Alternatively slow jogging for ten minutes for the first week or so can make for an appropriate beginning. The aim is really to strengthen the heart muscle and overall the cardiovascular system without overstressing the heart rate to more than 65 to 70% of the maximum.

After a span of time when you feel up to it, you can increase the time and pace of walking or jogging in a gradual manner. You can yourself know how you are progressing and if you find that you can do more you can graduate to jumping rope later. Some of you who like dancing can take up that activity on a moderate scale or others can simply join an aerobic exercise session catering specifically to hypertension patients.

Another way (not applicable for uncontrolled hypertension patients) to strengthen the muscles around your blood vessels is to take up light resistance training. This is weight training in which you take up dumbbells in your hands and lift your hands up. It stretches the muscles in your shoulders and arms.

Try breathing slowly but deeply during this activity to increase your lung capacity. Do not hold your breath while you lift and release your arms down. The natural tendency will be to hold your breath, but you need to consciously inhale and exhale deeply during lifting and releasing of the dumbbells. Otherwise, it can cause a surge of your blood pressure. Moreover, it is important to keep the weight training light and for a short duration maybe not for more than ten minutes a day.

An important part of exercising for lowering hypertension is in conditioning your mind to keep it cool and to have better control over it especially when you are prone to react in anger. Try some slow and deep breathing exercises in Yoga and meditation for your mind. This is a good form of resting exercise for your BP (blood pressure). It enables you to concentrate on the act of slow and deep breathing while clearing your mind of all stressful thoughts.

Consciously mimicking these slow and deep breathing exercises during a stressful event can help you to keep better control over your blood pressure. An option is to try Chinese Qi Gong exercises. They also work in a similar manner.