What exercises can I do to lower my blood pressure?

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times—regular exercise helps reduce high blood pressure. But beyond the general definition of exercise – physical activity – what exactly does that mean? And with all the tried and true to trending forms of exercise, what works best? Given all the options, the answer might be simpler than you think.

Do Sweat It

As you may have guessed, cardio is key. That means anything that has you working up a sweat – think running, cycling, swimming, kickboxing, etc. Speaking of boxing, cardio has a sort-of one-two punch. Not only does cardio help to lower your blood pressure, if done regularly, it can help to strengthen your heart.

For those just getting started, you don’t have to run a marathon to reap the benefits. Something as simple as walking can get your blood pumping and have you on your way to a healthier heart.

Muscle Through

Of course, cardio alone does not a healthy active lifestyle make. You need strong muscles to support all that activity. Which is where weight training comes in. Don’t panic, that doesn’t mean you have to bulk up or get on a first-name basis with your local gym’s trainers.

Working in a little resistance training will make you far less likely to sustain injuries and can improve your joint and bone health. And, as you might have guessed, all of this is good for your blood pressure and heart health.

Namaste Away From Hypertension

Bad yoga puns aside, this ancient practice is a great way to work in some physical activity. Even better, it can improve your flexibility, and reduce another blood pressure agitator – stress.

In other good news, if done regularly (and correctly) yoga can help to reduce your risk of injury. Which, in turn can help to keep you active, and that’s definitely a good thing for your heart health.

The Secret

So, what’s the secret exercise that will do it all? Anything you like, with extra emphasis on “like.” In other words, if you enjoy what you’re doing you’re much more likely to stick with it. No matter what the exercise – if you can’t see yourself doing it for 30 minutes a day, five days a week – it’s not the best exercise for you.

Before starting any kind of exercise regiment, speak with your doctor. With their additional insight into your specific health challenges, they can help you find a routine that works for you and your health goals.