Hypertension Exercises

Submitted by Thiruvelan on Thu, 06/24/2010
High Blood Pressure Exercises

Hypertension exercise help lower your blood pressure and is right for your heart, kidney, and other organs.

Exercise, blood pressure, and your heart

What happens in your body during exercise? When you exercise, heart rate rises, and your heart forces more blood to flow through your blood vessels. It makes the endothelial cells in the blood vessel lining to release more nitric oxide, which makes the blood vessel to widen to accommodate excess blood flow. This construction and widening of blood vessels by exercise help to maintain blood vessel elasticity as well as prevent plaque formations.

Can exercise help lower my blood pressure? Activity is one of the best remedies to lower your blood pressure. A single workout reduces blood pressure for an entire day, and regular exercise keeps the blood pressure in control for the long term.

Can exercise replace antihypertensive medicines? If you are already on medication for hypertension, regular exercise may allow you to lower the medicine dosage. If your blood pressure is only marginally high, then exercise routine might allow you to control blood pressure without medication.

Can exercise help prevent hypertension? Regular exercise is not only useful in the treatment of hypertension, but also the prevention of hypertension. Because exercise helps to maintain arterial elasticity, improves hearts pumping capacity, maintain a healthy weight, and better circulation.

The most common cause of high blood pressure is your blood vessel losing its elasticity. Once you start doing exercise, then your blood vessel start regaining its elasticity and thus normalizes your blood pressure over time.

You do not need to spend hours in the gym to get these exercise benefits. Walking, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and washing your car can help increase the secretion of nitric oxide, improve blood vessel’s elasticity, and lower your blood pressure.

Nitric oxide helps to keep your blood vessels relaxed (widen). You know at the early plaque building stages of arteriosclerosis, there is a reduced quantity of nitric oxide in the blood vessels.

Unless the doctor tells you otherwise, you can get a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most or all days of the week. Do these 30 minutes of exercise at one stretch or break it up into 10 minutes each?

Ways to improve physical activities

Physical activity has an important part in treating and preventing hypertension. Becoming more active can lower your systolic blood pressure by an average of 4 to 9 mm Hg.

  1. Walk while talking on the phone.
  2. Play with the kids and take a dog for a walk.
  3. Cleaning the house, do gardening, watering plants, rake leaves, washing vehicle.
  4. Try using stairs instead of the elevator or lift.
  5. Walk the most instead of using vehicles.
  6. At the office; walk to see the co-worker instead of calling or emailing.

High Blood Pressure Exercises

How does exercise lower hypertension? Exercise can help increase the secretion of nitric oxide, improve blood vessel’s elasticity, and lower your blood pressure. Practice makes your heart stronger, pump more blood with less effort, the force on your arteries decreases, and lower your blood pressure. Additionally, regular exercise help maintains a healthy weight, another important way to lower blood pressure.

What kind of exercise works best to lower blood pressure? One of the best most straightforward exercises you can do is regular walking. Any form of physical activities can help lower your blood pressure, such as aerobic activity, strength training, and flexible exercise.

Aerobic exercise

Aerobic activity can be an effective & easy first step to controlling high blood pressure. Strengthening exercise such as weight lifting is the second line of exercise important to lower blood pressure.

Additionally, flexibility exercises can also help lower your blood pressure.

Aerobic exercise makes your heart beat faster, breathe harder; lungs expand, and energize the whole body. Also, aerobic exercises burn extra calories, help to lower weight, which in turn helps lower blood pressure.

Few aerobic exercises for hypertension
  1. Household chores such as mowing the lawn, gardening, raking leaves, and cleaning floor/utensils,
  2. Playing basketball, tennis or other sports,
  3. Brisk walking,
  4. Jogging,
  5. Riding bicycling; outdoor or indoor,
  6. Swimming or attending water aerobics class,
  7. Dancing,
  8. Climbing stairs,
  9. Skating,
  10. Cross-country skiing

There is evidence that aerobic activity helps reduces blood pressure; SBP by about 4 mmHg and 2.5 mmHg for DBP. Doing the aerobic exercise for 30 minutes a day on most of the days or all days of the week provides many benefits. You can split up this 30 minutes exercise session into three of 10-minutes each.

Strength exercise for hypertension

In addition to aerobic exercise, many people suggest incorporating resistance exercise.

Resistance or strength training can temporarily raise your blood pressure during exercise. This raise is notable depending on how much weight you lift. Also, it can produce long-term benefits to your blood pressure and cardiovascular health. There is evidence that resistance exercise helps reduces blood pressure; SBP by about 3 mmHg and 3.5 mmHg for DBP.

Few strength exercises

  1. Bodyweight exercises
  2. Hand weights
  3. Kettlebells
  4. Resistance bands
  5. Medicine balls (exercise balls)
  6. Water jug workouts
  7. Resistance machines at the gym
  8. Strength classes at the gym
  9. Rope climbing or rock wall climbing

The exercise prescriptions for hypertension include a duration of 20 to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise 3 to 5 times a week. If new to exercise, then start slowly with five to ten minutes a day and add a little more time each week, aiming for at least two to three hours per week.

Hypertension exercise benefits

Exercising can lower your blood pressure; additionally, it improves your overall well-being.

Some of the most common hypertension exercise benefits are:

  1. Lower blood glucose & blood pressure,
  2. Lesser chances of high cholesterol,
  3. Lower the risk of heart disease and stroke,
  4. Stronger heart and bones,
  5. Keep the joints flexible,
  6. Lose weight,
  7. Gain more energy,
  8. Reduce stress levels,

Exercise safety considerations

Caution: If you have had a heart attack or coronary artery disease, then consult your doctor before starting an exercise regimen.

If you are presently on a sedentary lifestyle, then you should begin by doing the low-intensity exercise of short duration, say 10 minutes. Increase your activity level gradually to avoid pain, discomfort, and discontinuation.

  1. If you feel any discomfort such as very tired, unwell, sick, or dizzy then temporarily stop exercising for a short time, then start fresh again.
  2. If you are experiencing chest pain, breathlessness or fainting, then stop exercising and consult your doctor.
  3. When you are doing weight training, avoid holding your breath as this can cause dangerous spikes in blood pressure that might cause fainting. Instead, do easy continuous slow breathing during exercise.
  4. Avoid exercises with your head is lower than the heart as this can cause an immediate elevation in your blood pressure.
  5. Lift low weights more time, instead of heavyweights. Because lifting heavyweight strains more and thus cause more increase in blood pressure.