How does exercise help lower blood pressure?

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can increase a person’s risk of heart problems and stroke. So, anything we can do to lower our blood pressure to a healthy level is always worth considering. Surprise, surprise - exercise is something that can help

reducing blood pressure with exercise

How can exercise lower blood pressure?

Exercise improves the health of heart and blood vessels. It makes your heart stronger so it doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood around your body. Exercise also improves the strength and health of your bones and muscles, which can all contribute to a healthier body.

Which exercises helps to lower blood pressure?

Recent studies have found it difficult to specify what exact exercises can help lower blood pressure as many people taking blood pressure medication are using more than one medicines and may have other illnesses.

However, it’s accepted that regular aerobic exercise in some form can help lower blood pressure.

Blood Pressure UK recommends:

  • Cycling
  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Dancing
  • Gardening
  • Tennis
  • Jogging

They recommend avoiding exercises that raise your blood pressure suddenly i.e. intense movement over a short period of time. These exercises could include:

  • Weight lifting
  • Squash
  • Skydiving
  • Sprinting
  • Scuba diving

Can I stop taking medication for high blood pressure?

Exercise can help lower blood pressure alongside prescribed medication. Do not stop taking any medication you’ve been prescribed while undertaking a new exercise regime. If you have high or very high blood pressure (140/90mmHg, 179/99 mmHg, 180/100mmHg – 199/109 mmHg, 200/110mmHg or above) you should seek advice from your doctor before increasing your exercise.