High blood pressure, or hypertension (HTN), can increase the risk of heart disease. Regular physical activity can be an effective way of lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of other heart-related issues.

Many exercises may help to lower blood pressure. Note that these exercises are not intended to replace medication prescribed by your doctor. Staying active and reducing your BMI can help bring your blood pressure down to normal levels.

Research shows that cardio and dynamic resistance training can lower blood pressure and manage stage 1 hypertension. Staying active also reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

If you have hypertension, do these 7 blood pressure-lowering exercises and 6 yoga asanas. It is essential to consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise programs.

This article also tells you how frequently you should do the exercises and which exercises to avoid. Read on!

Exercises To Lower Blood Pressure

  • Frequency: 3-5 times per week
  • Benefits: Aid in weight loss and reduce heart disease risk.
  • Equipment Needed: Exercise mat, fitness tracker, sturdy shoes, swimming cap, goggles.
  • Space Required: Large area
  • Assistance Required: No
  • Who Should Avoid: Anyone with chronic joint pain or diabetes.

7 Best Exercises To Lower Blood Pressure

1. Walking

Walking is a low-impact cardio exercise that helps release serotonin, a ‘feel-good’ hormone. Scientists have found that walking 10,000 steps a day, irrespective of the intensity, could help reduce high blood pressure and improve exercise capacity.

A 2022 study assessed randomized controlled trials with 5,763 participants to highlight the merits of walking for hypertension. The participants walked an average of 153 minutes over 15 weeks, resulting in a decrease of 4.11 mmHg in systolic blood pressure, 1.79 mmHg in diastolic blood pressure, and a reduction in resting heart rate by 2.76 bpm.

Find a park or a stretch of road with less traffic and more greenery. You can walk in the mornings or evenings, focus on breathing, and enjoy nature to lower your stress levels.

2. Jogging

Put those running shoes on, leave your problems at the door, and start jogging! You can start with brisk walking and gradually increase your pace to do slow jogging or moderate-paced running.

A trial found that running regularly at a moderate pace could help lower blood pressure levels in people with hypertension. You can jog on the treadmill or outdoors. Do cool-down stretches after you are done, and take a nice warm shower later.

3. Dancing

Dance therapy may have a positive effect in reducing hypertension. This aerobic exercise improves blood circulation, helps in stress reduction, and improves balance and coordination.

Start with low-intensity dance forms and join a group that has a dedicated class for people with hypertension. You may try other high-intensity dance forms after consulting your doctor.

4. Cycling

Bicycling outdoors or indoors is a great aerobic exercise to reduce weight, tone the lower body, and lower high blood pressure levels. A study conducted on people with type 2 diabetes showed a significant reduction in blood pressure levels in people who regularly cycled.

Choose a bicycling lane or do indoor cycling to prevent falls and sudden jerks. Focus on your breathing, take water breaks, and wear bicycle shorts to prevent chafing.

5. Swimming

If you love water, swimming is another aerobic exercise you can enjoy to reduce hypertension. A 10-week study showed swimming to be an effective exercise to reduce resting blood pressure. Always warm up before getting into the pool and wear a swimming cap and goggles.

It is best to start with an instructor to help guide you through a few water exercises to improve your strength and mobility before getting into full-blown laps.

6. Dynamic Resistance Training

Dynamic resistance training involves movement. Exercises like weighted bicep curls, push-ups, bench presses, etc., are dynamic resistance exercises that help burn calories, improve muscle tone and lower blood pressure levels. Use weights that are around 30-40% of your body weight.

Ask your trainer to help if you are a beginner. Do dynamic resistance exercises 2-3 days a week, and do not lift heavy weights too soon. Avoid lifting weights if you have chronic heart issues and consult a doctor beforehand.

7. Isometric Resistance Training

Isometric resistance exercises do not involve movements or motions like dynamic resistance exercises. Such exercises engage the muscles and work on them without any visible body movement. For example, holding a plank is an isometric exercise.

Scientists have found isometric handgrip exercises to be more effective in lowering blood pressure than dynamic resistance training. However, there is insufficient evidence regarding its safety and efficacy.

Quick Tip: Pair these exercises with a healthy diet to make the most difference in your health. Avoid foods high in saturated and trans fats and cholesterol. Eat fruits, vegetables, greens, and whole grains. You can also try following the Mediterranean diet.

How Often To Do Them

Start by working out 3-5 days a week with a balanced mix of cardio and strength training exercises. If you work out three days a week, do cardio for two days and a day of strength training.

If you work out five days a week, balance them with three days of cardio and two days of strength training. Change your workout routine depending on your progress. Talk to your trainer to design a workout routine that works for you.

Which Exercises To Avoid

  • HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)
  • Sprinting
  • Heavy weightlifting

Stick to low or moderate-intensity aerobic or strength training exercises (with light weights) to prevent further health complications.