if you have high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend that you exercise more. While medications can help control blood pressure, exercise is a great way to help lower blood pressure by strengthening your heart and maintaining a healthy weight.
Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Politics
Clinical exercise physiologist Laura Gray, ACSM-CEP, MS, explains why exercise is good for those with high blood pressure, what activities to try, and how to stay motivated.
Is exercise good for high blood pressure?
Exercise, in general, can help control blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, exercise can even help lower it. How? Regular exercise helps control your weight, keeps your heart healthy, and lowers stress.
Also, including exercise in your lifestyle, along with a healthy diet, can help lower your blood pressure and prevent more serious medical conditions.
“High blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and even kidney problems,” says Gray.
So if you’re ready to lace up your sneakers, be sure to keep a few things in mind.
“You have to be aware of your breathing,” he advises. Be sure not to hold your breath while exercising or using a breathing method called Valsalva maneuverwhich is where you hold your breath during weightlifting, for example.