Best Exercises for High Blood Pressure

Best Exercises for High Blood Pressure

I talk a lot about blood pressure here in our downtown Orlando chiropractic office. It’s almost a national epidemic that we’re going through where blood pressures are going higher and higher for a lot of Americans, what’s defined as high blood pressure here is 140 over 90 millimeters of mercury. That’s what we measure blood pressure in. And that’s really important to you if you’ve ever been told by your medical doctor or healthcare specialist, that you might have hypertension or high blood pressure.

There are medications that can help you with your hypertension. But there are a lot of lifestyle modifications that you can do. That will also help your blood pressure so that you can maybe get off of those medications, things diet, exercise, stopping smoking, staying away from alcohol, all these things we know reduce blood pressure over time. But up until this point, I think we all had maybe a previous perception that the best kind of exercise for lowering your blood pressure over time was actually cardio exercise. So think walking and running, jogging, all these things that you kind of think of when you think of lowering your blood pressure. Doing something healthy for yourself was the best way to lower blood pressure.

But there’s some research that kind of disproves that thought and this is important to me. So check it out. It’s really hot outside, right? If you do your cardio outside, even at 8pm here in Orlando, Florida, it’s still like 95 degrees, and I hate treadmills. So that kind of brought me to this point, which is there are some new choices out there if you don’t like to do that stuff. In a 2014 study, some researchers took nine different studies and showed that certain home exercises are actually better for lowering your blood pressure over time than more traditional exercises like running.

The research is from the Mayo Clinic where they publish strong research from a lot of different participants. So I think there is a good chance that this is very effective. What they found was that these three easy-to-do exercises reduce your blood pressure over time by an average of 50% more than old-school cardio. So, let’s not misconstrue the numbers here. It lowered blood pressure numbers by five millimeters of mercury and two millimeters of mercury. We’re talking about going from just abnormal to just inside normal, which is really, I think, what we’re trying to get to right. We don’t need to, like, have some miracle cure. We need to get you off the medication that you’re on for your hypertension.

The three home exercises are isometric exercises, which means that there’s no change in the length of the muscle when we’re doing these exercises. And that’s really important to you because they’re very safe. So maybe you have an older relative that cannot do a lot of walking or running because they’ve got bad knees or bad hips or bad feet, these isometric exercises are going to be easier and also help to lower their blood pressure.

So here they are in a very particular order because they go from least effective to most effective, as the researchers found. And the first one here actually comes from fighter pilots. So what they noticed when they were training some fighter pilots was that when they squeezed really hard on the stick to move the plane, they could actually lower their blood pressure over time. So the first thing that you can do is you can get yourself a hand grip dynamometer. I got this one on Amazon, and we use it here in the office for a variety of other things. But all you do is use this thing, and you’re going to hold it for about 30% of your 100% of exertion for two minutes, and then you’re gonna take a two-minute break and then squeeze again for two minutes, two-minute break, squeeze again for two minutes, right. So I do recommend changing hands. That way, you’re kind of getting a workout in both hands, but very, very easy to do. Almost everybody in your life who maybe couldn’t do all the walking or running, especially with 200 degrees outside, can easily do this. hand grip strength. So you’re just squeezing, you’re squeezing 30% of your maximal force for two minutes, and then you take a break, and then you do it again. You do it four times in total, to take you about 12 minutes total, and that’s a good way to lower your blood pressure.

I would say that if you do all three of these things that are shown,  this being the first, you could probably get the absolute best lowering of your blood pressure.  I recommend all three of these things. The second one here is an old-school plank. You’re going to be on the ground. You’re going to be your elbows and your toes touching the ground, and you’re gonna hold yourself up with your spine parallel to the ground. You’ve seen this done, you know, a two-minute plank, which sounds really easy, but you’re gonna do four different two-minute planks with a two-minute break in between, and that’s when it gets hard. And what’s really important for all three of these exercises is it should get harder, right? So the first time you do it, maybe it’ll be easy, and the second time, a little bit harder. By the third and fourth time that you’re doing these exercises. They should feel really difficult. Your muscles should be shaking a little bit, even though it’s not moving against resistance. It should make your muscles have to work and that’s how we’re gonna lower blood pressure. So the second one, doing a plank, two-minute plank, you do four in total, that’s gonna help you to lower your blood pressure.

The third exercise is a wall sit. You just put your back against a wall and bend your legs like you’re sitting in a chair. The first time you do it, it will feel like it’s pretty easy to do. And the more time you do it, you’re going to be screaming after about two minutes. So these three things: handgrip 30%, planks and a wall sit. Cycle through these four different times, and that’s going to be just as good as getting out there and running in this crazy ridiculous heat. Isometric exercises can lower blood pressure equally, if not more effectively, than cardiovascular exercises.

If you’re also combining that with losing weight and cutting back on caffeine, alcohol, and salt, it’s all going to work to help get you off your blood pressure medication and keep you healthy. The detrimental effects of high blood pressure include strain on blood vessels or other organs, kidneys, and eyes. It’s kind of a laundry list of things. hat you want to avoid and we’re going to do that by keeping your blood pressure nice and level.

Watch the video to see the exercises in action:

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