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10 exercises for High Blood Pressure patients

Dr. Ajay KohliNov 17, 2022

Hypertension or High Blood Pressure is a major risk factor for developing diseases such as Stroke and Coronary Artery Disease, Heart Failure, and Chronic Kidney Disease. By adopting a few lifestyle modifications, one can keep a check on their blood pressure level. Having a regular exercise routine is a simple and effective way of achieving and maintaining optimum blood pressure. Read ahead to know 10 exercises for High Blood Pressure patients.

Best Exercises For High Blood Pressure Patients

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Relation between exercising and High Blood Pressure

Exercising helps to maintain lower blood pressure by keeping your heart and blood vessels in good health, thus decreasing chances of having a heart disease and stroke. Moreover, for overweight people, shedding a few kilos will help them reduce their blood pressure as well. Apart from these benefits, exercising regularly strengthens the bones and improves balance. It keeps your muscles and joints in moving condition, keeping you active and independent for later stages of life. Also, exercises uplift your mood and improve cognitive ability. 

If you lead a sedentary life, you are invariably inviting trouble upon your heart. Poor lifestyle habits such as a lack of exercise leads to an increased risk of High Blood Pressure (hypertension), which in-turn can affect your heart. It takes about one to three months of regular exercise to help regulate your blood pressure. However, the results last for as long as you continue to exercise. 

10 best exercises to help you lower your blood pressure

The best recommended exercises that can lower High Blood Pressure significantly are discussed below.

  1. Brisk walking: You should walk at a pace faster than you normally do so that it increases your heart and breathing rate.

  2. Aerobic classes: It is a good idea to join classes for either Zumba, Aqua aerobics, or a functional fitness class.

  3. Running or jogging: Regular running or jogging at a good pace is beneficial for your heart’s health, which affects blood pressure levels. To begin with, you can start off by covering shorter distances at slower speeds and slowly, increase it to longer distances with greater speed. One can alternate running or jogging with brisk walking too.

  4. Cycling: Riding your bike can be considered an active form of exercise if it is done for 10 minutes continuously and with active pedalling motions.

  5. Gardening: Working in your garden or around your backyard such as mowing the lawn or raking leaves, adds up to an active form of exercise as it requires motions like picking, bending, etc. However, you need to continue this work for a good 30 to 45 minutes.

  6. Dancing: Dancing amounts to a very efficient form of exercise if you have the passion for it. Joining a dance class like a Zumba class offers a good workout. Any form of dancing will count as an exercise if it involves total body movement and accelerates the heart rate.

  7. Hiking: Hiking can be a very strenuous exercise. It is best to remain on a beginner’s trial at first if you are new to hiking. Once you gain experience, you can work your way up more difficult routes.

  8. Swimming: Swimming is considered a very good form of exercise. Mostly as beginners, you may be familiar with freestyle strokes. Aqua jogging is another option for someone getting used to exercising in the pool. Using aids such as an aqua jogging belt or pool noodle adds extra buoyancy.

  9. Yoga: This is an age-old form of exercise which can help reduce blood pressure. However, you should consult a doctor before starting yoga as some poses require you to bend your back, adopt an inversion position or standing postures, which is not advisable if you suffer from hypertension.

  10. Tai Chi: Thisisan ancient Chinese tradition, which is considered as a graceful form of exercise. It is often called meditation in motion and is characterised by gentle, flowing movements. Tai Chi has many different styles, each unique to themselves and focusing either on health benefits or as martial arts.

A word of caution

While it is good to have an exercise regime, it is certainly not advisable to overdo it. Exercises like sprinting should be avoided as they are very intense forms of exercise that last for a very short duration of time. This unnecessarily raises the blood pressure too quickly and puts a lot of strain on the heart and blood vessels. In order to keep your interest from waning, you should indulge in a mix of exercises. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here’s a list of common questions and answers related to exercises for High Blood Pressure patients.

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Is it safe to exercise if you have High Blood Pressure?

Yes, it is safe for most people with High Blood Pressure to exercise. However, just to be on the safe side, consult your doctor before you start exercising.

Should I take my blood pressure medicines before or after exercise?

If your blood pressure is relatively high, your doctor may advise you to take your blood pressure medicines before you start doing exercises. Please consult your doctor regarding this.

How much time should I spend doing exercises?

It is recommended that every adult should exercise moderately for 30 minutes daily, 5 times a week. 

Does one need to indulge in some warm-up exercises and cool down after the exercise routine?

It is important to have some sort of warm-up before you get into the actual exercise and cool down later because it helps your heart rate. By doing so, you also lower your risk of injury and/or soreness.

Do I need to consult a doctor before increasing the level/intensity of exercise?

Healthy individuals generally do not need to consult a doctor before increasing the intensity of exercise. The doctor’s advice may be required in the case of people suffering from chronic health conditions so that they are made aware of their limitations.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.

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