According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hypertension, or high blood pressure (BP), affects an estimated 1.28 billion adults aged 30-79 years globally. Following a poor diet with excessive salt consumption, using alcohol and tobacco, being obese and overweight, and a lack of physical activity are all risk factors for high blood pressure. While medicine given by a healthcare practitioner is essential for hypertension management, incorporating regular exercise into your daily routine is the most effective way to deal with it. But do you believe exercise is unsafe for those with hypertension? Don’t believe this myth. Exercise is actually highly beneficial for your heart health. Try these light exercises for high blood pressure.
Best exercises for high blood pressure
Health Shots spoke to fitness expert Sonia Bakshi, who said with high BP, you should avoid exercises that require sudden bursts of activity or strain, they can be risky. But there are a few exercises that are simple and easy to perform that can manage high blood pressure effectively.
Here are the 6 exercises you can do to control high blood pressure, according to Bakshi, the founder of DtF.
Aerobic workouts, often known as cardiovascular exercises, are good for managing high blood pressure and lowering the risk of developing other heart diseases. You can just engage in activities like running, dancing, or a low-impact aerobic workout. Sonia Bakshi says, “Regular aerobic exercise makes your heart pump blood out better and improves blood circulation, helping to reduce the strain on your blood vessels. This can help manage blood pressure levels.” Engaging in aerobic exercises for just 20-30 minutes a day can make a significant difference.
2. Brisk walking
Brisk walking is one of the easiest yet most efficient ways to decrease high blood pressure. It puts no strain or pressure on your knees or muscles, making it suitable for seniors as well. Even 15 minutes of brisk or moderate walking per day can increase your heart rate, burn calories, and help you live longer. “Walk at least 100 steps per minute to reap all the benefits that a brisk walk provides. Keep your back straight while walking and move your arms and shoulders for further benefit,” Bakshi advises.
3. Yoga and meditation
Yoga and meditation offer a holistic approach to managing high blood pressure. They differ from other exercises that require strength. Yoga involves a series of poses and stretches that focus on promoting relaxation and improving blood circulation, helping reduce the strain on your cardiovascular system. Meditation, on the other hand, relaxes the mind and reduces stress, which is a major cause of high blood pressure. Yoga and meditation can help you stay calm and relaxed in any situation and promote wellness.
Swimming is one of the best low-impact exercises you can do to manage your blood pressure levels and is suitable for people of all ages. It is an aerobic workout that strengthens your heart and raises your heart rate, allowing more blood to flow through your body. Apart from heart health, swimming is also good for people with joint and mobility problems. Swim for about 30 minutes a day and three times a week at least to achieve its benefits.
5. Biking or Stationary Cycle
Light exercises such as cycling can help restore normal blood pressure levels. Cycling works your leg muscles, gets your heart rate up, and increases endurance and strength. This lowers blood pressure by increasing cardiovascular fitness. “Aim at doing 3 sets of 10 minutes each every day, or 30 minutes of continuous cycling at a moderate speed and moderate intensity,” suggests Bakshi.
Walking or jogging on a treadmill might improve your cardiovascular fitness and lower your blood pressure. “Walking at a gradual pace on the treadmill for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week can also be a great exercise for reducing high blood pressure,” Bakshi explains. Make sure you’re not running out of breath on the treadmill. Stop it right away if it happens.” It can also help you lose weight and fat.
Perform these exercises daily and see the difference in your blood pressure levels!