4 Relaxing Exercises to Help Regulate Blood Pressure

exercise to improve blood pressure

Hypertension is a growing problem which can be caused by some factors such as lack of physical activities, obesity, smoking and high sodium intake. The good news is that there are some ways that you can manage your high blood pressure. Some of the ways include changing your diet, exercising and avoiding stress.

Aside from avoiding stress, it is even more important that you learn to deal with it. One way Health practitioners use to treat patients with high blood pressure is through teaching them those exercises to help in relaxing. They are an important set of skills, but if you are suffering from high blood pressure, then the techniques are essential to your health in particular.

You do not have to be taught by a practitioner as some of them you can easily learn on your own. Relaxation techniques are all about trying to focus your attention on something that will calm you and raise body awareness. Whichever the relaxation technique you choose, try and practice it regularly so as to rip the full benefits. Consider the following breathing exercises to help you in controlling your blood pressure:


It is a technique which will only assist you to relax in the immediate moment. Aside from helping you to relax it also helps lower blood pressure levels throughout your day and not only when practicing it[1]. To be able to meditate successfully you will have to master the rest of the relaxation exercises that are to be discussed below although you can also practice it on its own. You can begin by meditating for about five minutes by repeating a word or phrase. The key is to concentrate on your breathing and let go of all the stressful thoughts that come to your mind. With further practice, you can begin to extend your meditation periods.

Muscle relaxationblood pressure stretches

The challenge here is to tighten and relax your muscles throughout the body. The exercise can be done from head to toe or the other way around. You can start with your head and neck by tensing the muscles. Maintain the tension for some seconds and feel your body then release the muscle. Remember to do that throughout your body. For each muscle hold the pressure for about five seconds, then release it for 30 seconds.

Autogenic relaxation

This technique is a little similar to the muscle relaxation exercises. You can take about fifteen minutes or so to perform the exercise. It is all about improving awareness of your body sensations and how they change as a way of responding to stress. The technique is considered as a simple way to activate the fight-or-flight hormone[2]. Begin the exercise by positioning yourself in a comfortable relaxing state then observe how your body feels.

Continue by working your way all through the body. For example, you can start by saying the phrase “my right arm is warm and light”, repeat the words several times while imagining that what you are saying is true of that right arm. You should then switch to your other arm and continue to work your body in that process and pay attention to where you feel more tension. You can also introduce other phrases which will help you to relax your body like “my breathing is slow and stable” or even “my mind is relaxed and at peace”


It is another technique that physiotherapists use to help their patients relax and in that case lower blood pressure levels. I’m sure you are familiar with that feeling which comes when you close your eyes then imagine to be somewhere you love like a beautiful beach on a sunny day. Even if you are having a miserable day, you just feel some relaxation flowing through your body.

It is visualization, but for you to do the exercise correctly, try and have a thorough imagination as possible. It means that you should not just visualize but regarding the other four senses as well which include touching, hearing, tasting and smelling. Whichever your ideal place that brings you calm be it a busy street or a mountain in the snow, focus on imagining that particular location [3]. By doing that, it will help you to relax and lower your blood pressure.

You will realize that most of the above techniques require a calm and quiet environment, but eventually, with time you can be able to turn on your relaxation response even where there is chaos. Your overall goal should be to lower the blood pressure and improving your overall health. The above relaxation techniques will do more than just that to you. It will result in a better quality of life over time. Make sure that you practice them regularly in order to increase their efficacy.


  1. http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/stress-raising-your-blood-pressure-take-a-deep-breath-201602159168
  2. https://bebrainfit.com/autogenic-training/
  3. http://abcnews.go.com/WN/secret-lowering-blood-pressure-breathing-exercises/story?id=11656769


One Tasty Food to Help Regulate Blood Pressure

 fish oil

One of the most common pieces of advice that you will get from doctors when you ask about the food you should eat to control your blood pressure is “eat fatty fish”. You cannot ignore the various research and experiments which have been able to show that fish oil can lower blood pressure beyond any doubt. It is believed to be because of the anti-inflammatory and coagulant effect of omega-3 which is the fish oil which is an essential fatty acid.

Hypertension is a risk factor for developing atherosclerosis which is a condition where the arteries narrow up and harden. It is also a risk factor for a heart disease and inflammation. If you want to reduce the risk, then it is important that your diet consists of fatty acids and fish oil which will also result in reduced blood pressure [1].

Your body has no mechanism to produce the omega-3 fatty acids naturally, and so it has to source it from the foods you eat. You mostly have to get a lot of the inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids from vegetable oils. Opting to supplement it with fish oil is the option to get the omega-3 oils. By doing so, you will restore your fatty acid equilibrium and thus lowers inflammation and high blood pressure.

How Much Fish Should You Eat To Help With Your Blood Pressure?

The conventional medications used to lower blood pressure can have unpleasant side effects in your life. They can negatively affect levels of cholesterol which can force you to use additional drugs for reducing cholesterol. According to some studies, supplementation with a large amount of fish oil at least 5 grams each day will help to reduce your high blood pressure significantly. Also if you are a mild hypertensive individual, supplementing your body with small doses of fish oil will also be effective in keeping the condition under control.

Results from another study conclude that you will need at least three servings of fish in a week to experience real results when it comes to lowering your high blood pressure. It, therefore, appears that eating fish three times in a week will supply you with the right amount of omega-3 oil which will control your blood pressure. At this point, we can say that your high blood pressure might also be partly as a result of not eating fish. Other components found in seafood like selenium and potassium might also help to regulate blood pressure.

Fish and Benefits of COQ10

Eating fish can also help to reduce your high blood pressure because fish contains an antioxidant known as CoQ10 or co-enzyme Q10 [2]. The nutrient is essential in helping your cells to create energy. Although it is available in every cell, much of the supply comes from the cells in your heart as they need a lot of energy. Fish is a good source of CoQ10 and adding it to your diet makes a lot of difference to your hypertension.

Fish and vitamin Dvitamin D

Vitamin D, whether you get it from the sunshine, daily supplements or oily fish will help you to control your hypertension [3]. It regulates your hypertension through balancing renin-angiotensin system. You will have a higher chance of high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke if it the system becomes overactive. Aside from supporting your healthy heart and the cardiovascular system, vitamin D also allows your body with the absorption of calcium more efficiently, so it is a win-win situation.

Preparing a Tasty Fish Recipe

Here is a recipe to help you cook a delicious, healthy meal using fish. Eating this meal is also helpful if you have high blood pressure as it is also low in sodium. There are various ways that you can prepare a tasty meal with fish but here is one way to enjoy the meal.

Spicy Baked Fish

baked fish


  • Salmon or any other fish fillet
  • One tablespoon olive oil
  • One tablespoon salt-free spicy seasoning


  1. Apply cooking oil to your baking dish and put it in the oven at 350 degrees
  2. Wash the fish and dry it. Place it in a bowl. Combine the oil with your seasoning and pour it over the fish.
  3. Bake the fish uncovered for about 15 minutes or until when the fish flakes with a fork. Remove and divide it into four pieces
  4. Serve it with rice

Supplementing with fish oil is safe and efficient when it comes to reducing blood pressure especially in gentle hypertensive individuals. But note that the beneficial effects wear off with time once you stop the supplements. It, therefore, means that some changes to your diet should be permanent so as to improve its efficacy.


  1. http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/omega-3-fish-oil-supplements-for-high-blood-pressure
  2. http://www.ephraimhealth.co.nz/itemdetails/Coq10-Plus-Omega3-Fish-Oil/367.aspx
  3. https://www.google.com/search?q=Fish+and+vitamin+D&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

5 Exercises to Improve Blood Pressure

blood pressure

Many naysayers will tell you that exercise will aggravate a blood pressure problem, as your blood pressure is connected to your heart’s activity. And, yes, that would be true, with the exception that regular exercise improves the muscle strength of your heart, and in so doing so, helps your blood pressure to be regulated. A strong heart will be able to pump more blood with less effort. This equates to your arteries having to work less, and essentially lowering your blood pressure.

Your blood pressure will rise during any exercises, but it will soon relax to a normal activity after your have cooled down. The best type of exercise to improve your blood pressure would be any type essentially, but it is idealistic to choose exercise that is aerobic. [1]

And by aerobic, we mean the type that raises your heart rate above normal day-to-day beats. Having said that, any exercise, no matter how little, will bring on positive results to your body and lifestyle, as a whole.

You want to be maintaining blood pressure a little lower than or equal to 120/80 mm HG. Weight control is paramount to keeping your blood pressure down. The more weight you hold, the better chance of your body taking strain and your blood pressure rising. In particular, when you start to age, your body, overall, will take a lot more effort to function, and the blood pressure is generally one of the first areas to show the age.

While we suggest including one or a few of these aerobic exercise regimes into your daily lifestyle, we do also recommend that you check in with your doctor first.

Regular exercise is vital to a holistic healthy lifestyle, but especially if you have blood pressure issues. You should have a health check completed by a qualified medical practitioner before starting out on this exercise journey. And, you may want to start off slow, progressively increasing the pace and effort as you feel fitter and more able to, always paying attention to how you feel, and how your heart is reacting to the training. [2]

The 5 Best Exercises to improve your blood pressure

  1. Walkingexercise to improve blood pressure

It is the easiest form of exercise, in terms of slipping on a pair of walking appropriate shoes, gear, and getting going. And if done right, you can drastically improve your quality of life and sort out any blood pressure issues.

Walking has many other benefits that all aid how your heart manages. The calories burnt whilst walking will help you bring the weight down, and having a 30 minute walk every day, also helps with increasing brain power. It is said that dementia can be held off longer if you just ensure you take at least a 6 mile walk a day, that amongst other brain fuelling activities. [3]

  1. Runningrunning

Running takes the exercise up a beat, as it does require more effort and is harder on the muscles and bones, especially the joints.

Again, like with walking, you will burn calories and keep a clear mind for longer, but a regular running routine extends further, with helping you boost confidence, lower blood pressure (this by opening up the arteries and veins for better blood flow), and in turn reducing stress. [4]

  1. Aerobic Classes


Aerobic classes at a gym or outdoors adds a new dimension to aerobic style exercise. You get the benefit of raising your heart rate, but also the diversity and anti-boredom aspect, that walking and running can induce.

  1. Other Outdoor Aerobic Sports

Other aerobic sports, generally enjoyed outdoors, can include cycling, swimming, basketball, and tennis.

Swimming, specifically, is a great beginner style sport or training. It is gentle on the body, with no jarring motion or the hitting of foot to tar, and you can really start out as slow as you want, even walking in the water till you are ready to progress further.

Ball sports, such as tennis, basketball, cricket, football, and many others, are great for the aerobic effort, but also the effort it places on the brain. You have to move, energizing the heart, pumping the blood faster and creating a path for good blood pressure; and in addition, you need to exercise the brain more, what with the ball needing to be kept in eye distancework out all the time.

Cross-over type sports that involve a ball and perhaps also a “utensil” such as a racquet or bat, require that you apply your gross motor skills into the equation, always good for getting the brain cells working. [5]

  1. Household Cleaning

This one may not get your juices going at first glance, but if the cleaning must be done, then you may as well put it down to part of your exercise regime. Vacuuming, dusting, polishing, and scrubbing floors, all require some effort and muscle activity.

You will be surprised at how much your heart rate will increase when indulging in the art of house chores. And, it really is an art, because, while you may be making an effort, not everyone can clean expertly. 

But, nevertheless, grab that cloth, pick up the vacuum, and get moving, and if you find your heart rate isn’t picking up too much, try jogging on the spot to just aid the benefit you are giving to your heart strengthening.


  1. Blood Pressure UK.org – Blood pressure and exercise
  2. Mayo Clinic.org – Best Exercises for lowering Blood pressure
  3. Tesco Living – Benefits of Walking
  4. Active.com – Benefits of Running
  5. Higher Fitness.com – Aerobic Classes



Can Food Contribute to Blood Pressure Issues?

blood pressure

There is a lot of information informing you on the various ways to lower your blood pressure through eating healthy foods. But how about foods which can contribute to your high blood pressure issues? There are some foods that can raise your blood pressure as a result of the methods involved in processing or even naturally. Some foods can increase the blood pressure immediately after you eat them while others may lead to more gradual effects.

The good thing is that high blood pressure is a treatable disease. With some significant modifications in your diet, you can prevent the adverse health effects of hypertension. Check out these foods that should be at the top of your “foods to avoid” list if you want to control high blood pressure.

Sugarno sugar

Are you aware that high sugar intake is linked to hypertension? By now you already know that excessive consumption of sugar will result in weight gain and obesity. Sugar-sweetened drinks are contributing to increased cases of obesity in people of all ages. As you know, individuals who are overweight have a high-risk factor for hypertension.

Canned soups

You might like them because of their easy nature to prepare especially when you are sick or when in a hurry. But these canned soups have high amounts of sodium which are harmful to your blood pressure levels. Some broths can have about 890 mg of sodium per serving which is about one-half cup.

Bottled or canned tomato products

It is a proven fact that tomato products will bring problems to your high blood pressure. The reason behind it is that canned tomato sauces, tomato juices, and pasta sauces have high amounts of sodium. For example, a half-cup serving of a marinara sauce has about 450 mg of sodium while tomato juice has 650 mg. But there are available versions of these which have reduced sodium. Therefore if you are hoping to your hypertension down, it will be a smart choice if you go for those alternative options.

Frozen pizzasavoid pizza

If you are trying to watch your sodium intake, then it is better if you avoid all pizzas altogether [1]. That combination of bread, cured meats, tomato sauce and cheese all add up to a high amount of sodium. More than anything avoid the frozen pizzas at all cost because they are very dangerous to individuals who have high blood pressure.

Manufacturers will add a lot of salt so as to maintain the flavor in the pizza once it has been cooked and packaged. One-sixth of the frozen pizza can have about 1000 mg of sodium, at other times even more because of the thicker the crust and more toppings on your pizza the higher you climb in sodium levels.

Packaged foods and chicken skinavoid junk food

If you have hypertension, you should also avoid saturated and Trans fats. Therefore avoid foods such as chicken skin, red meat and butter which are high in saturated fat. You can find Trans fats in fatty meats and dairy products although in small amounts. Trans fats form in a process called hydrogenation where liquid oil turns into solid oil by infusing air into it. But the biggest contributing factor of Trans fats is prepared and packaged foods. Packaged foods have hydrogenated oils so as to increase their shelf life and stability. Too much saturated fats raise a bad cholesterol or LDL which in turn worsens your hypertension [3]. It can even lead to developing a coronary disease.

Alcoholavoid alcohol

Excessive consumption of alcohol can result in high blood pressure. As a matter of fact, even three drinks in a sitting may give rise to a temporary spike in your blood pressure while repeated alcohol consumption can cause long-term effects of blood pressure [2]. It is full of calories which can contribute to gaining weight and people who are overweight are likely to have hypertension. Aside from causing high blood pressure, alcohol can also interfere with the hypertension medications that you are taking.

Deli meat

Processed deli meats are often cured and preserved with salt. A serving can have about 600 milligrams of sodium at times even a lot than that. Add bread, pickles and cheese, and the sandwich becomes a real sodium bomb.

Chinese foodavoid salty food

Yes, it is true that we all enjoy the large, delicious foods from Chinese restaurants, but did you ever stop to ask yourself what makes their food taste that good? That is because it is full of sodium. The amount of salt load in Chinese foods have a potential to raise your blood pressure.

Looking at the foods above you will notice that salt, processed meat, Chinese foods and frozen pizza are the worst foods that can cause your blood pressure to spike. Reducing sodium intake is a smart option to having your blood pressure under control.


  1. https://www.healthcentral.com/article/high-salt-diet-impacts-more-than-blood-pressure
  2. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/expert-answers/blood-pressure/faq-20058254
  3. http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/BloodPressureandyou/Yourlifestyle/Eatingwell/Fatsandcholesterol


Daily Role of Water in Regulating Blood Pressure


Are you aware that failing to drink enough water increases your risk of high blood pressure? The first thing that comes to mind when you think of water and blood pressure is how dehydration and hypotension or low blood pressure are associated. Dehydration can cause low blood pressure as a result of reduced volume of blood which increases the pressure against your artery walls.

On the other hand, high blood pressure as a result of not drinking adequate water is due to the body compensating for it by retaining sodium. Sodium only calls for alarm as it is directly linked to high blood pressure. Due to the retention of sodium in the body, dehydration will, therefore, lead to the closing of some capillary beds.

The resultant effect is increased pressure on the arteries leading to a high blood pressure. Water along with other substances in your bloodstream have an important role in maintaining hydration and the levels of blood pressure. It is natural and essential that you drink water although too much of it in the hope of overly improving your waterhealth can result in problems. It can lead to hyponatremia which is high levels of diluted sodium in the blood and is a hazardous condition. Hyponatremia can lead to confusion, coma dizziness and at other times if not treated quickly can result in death.

Relationship between Water and Blood Pressure

The human body is always trying to maintain a balance. That is why our bodies will respond to the changes of sodium levels or any other electrolytes in the blood stream either through increasing or decreasing blood volume.

Each time the levels of sodium are high in your blood stream, the kidney will respond through excreting water along with the excess sodium in the form of urine [1]. If you are suffering from kidney disease, your body will have difficulties coping, and when faced with the high amounts of sodium, the blood pressure rises.

When you drink more water, there is more fluid available for your kidneys to excrete as urine. As a result, there is less need for the kidneys to conserve water causing your small blood vessels to open up which in turn reduces the blood pressure.

Proper Hydrationwater

The recommended amounts of water that you should drink is at least eight glasses of water in a day. Most people do not reach such numbers even though we know that it is the minimum level required so as to make up for the fluid which we lose through respiration sweating and urination. But if you have high blood pressure, it is recommended that you aim even higher somewhere between 10 to 12 glasses of water per day [2].

The quality of water that you also drink matters just as much as the quantity. Fresh water will help to keep you hydrated and full as well as help you lose weight. However drinking salt water will not necessarily affect your blood pressure.

You may have concerns about some water softeners which are meant to remove hard minerals from your tap water. It the process it adds some sodium ions which is about 12mg per glass of water. It is a tiny amount which cannot raise your blood pressure. If you are concerned with your treated water, you can test the sodium level to see how much you are consuming. You can also opt for bottled water instead of tap water although, in the long run, it is expensive. The best option will be to invest in a home system which will remove all the harmful contaminants


On the other hand, when you drink sugary drinks instead of water,  you take in many more extra calories. Reducing the

calories will lead to weight loss, and it can lower your blood pressure. Choosing tea or coffee will result in a pounding heartbeat which is caused by ingesting caffeine. Caffeine narrows your blood vessels and in that case, increases the blood pressure temporarily.

Dehydrating beverages like tea, alcohol or coffee will increase your desire for wanting to drink a lot of water. Physical exercises, diabetes and diarrhoea, can also make your body lose excess water.

Steps To Prevent High Blood Pressure Caused By Dehydration

Drink water when you are exercising- you’re wasting a lot of water exercisethrough sweating and evaporation when you are exercising. It is therefore essential that you drink an adequate amount of water during and after an exercise. If you are looking forward to lowering your blood pressure, do not restrict some fluids when engaging in any physical activity. So what is the recommended amounts during and after an exercise?

  • Make sure to take two cups which is 16 ounces of fluid two hours just before you begin your physical activity
  • During an exercise session which lasts about an hour, ensure that you drink water after every 15 minutes.


  1. http://www.newhealthadvisor.com/water-and-blood-pressure.html
  2. https://authoritynutrition.com/how-much-water-should-you-drink-per-day/



5 Foods to Naturally Improve Blood Pressure

Smoothie for blood pressure

We live in a fast paced world, and the pressure is always on. Making our mark has never been more difficult and letting our guards down will only result in having to start over again. We need to be alert and aware of all that is happening around us. The effects of this crazy lifestyle can have a negative impact on our health status.

Finding that perfect balance between work and pleasure can be tough. We know we have to find it, but the bills are piling up, the kids are whining, and the boss is putting undue pressure on you. So, what is one to do when the blood pressure is sky high?

One aspect, that is generally always affected, is our blood pressure, and having a too high or too low blood pressure is detrimental to our overall being.

There are many ways to improve your blood pressure and here is a short list:

  • Lose weight
  • Eat clean and healthy
  • Ensure you exercise on a regular basis
  • Reduce your salt and sodium intakeworkout for blood pressure
  • Reduce your alcohol consumption
  • Limit your caffeine intake
  • Stop smoking
  • Lower your stress, by assessing what is causing the stress
  • Keep checking your blood pressure
  • Eat certain foods

5 foods that can help

These foods can naturally improve your blood pressure, eaten in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise plan. It is important to note that no one food item can improve your blood pressure status, but any one of them can assist. Realistically, you should be looking holistically at your lifestyle and recognizing the areas that are setting your blood pressure off in the wrong direction.

One of the most commonly followed eating plans is the DASH Diet. DASH broken down is Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, and is supported by the U.S.-based National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Their main aim is to help you reduce the sodium in your diet, based on a few variables. It is a good place to start, but just including these foods into your daily or weekly eating regime, will help too. (2]

  1. Flaxseedflaxseed

It has been proven that flaxseed, consumed in various foods, can reduce your blood pressure. The inclusion of these four components in flaxseed, fiber, lignans, alpha linolenic acid, and peptides, all assist in the process to improve your blood pressure.

In particular, flaxseed helps with the relaxing (diastolic blood pressure) and contracting (systolic blood pressure) process of the heart. Flaxseed can be consumed in a variety of ways, and is apparent in many foods. The easiest way would be to use flaxseed oil, which you can cook and bake with. The best flaxseed format is ground flaxseed, which can be bought in store or online. When buying products with flaxseed component, check that its ground, and this will fall under the Dietary Fiber area. [6] (3)

  1. Beetroots

Beetroots are as natural as you can get, and they contain nitrates, which has the ability to lower your blood pressure. You can consume beetroots in a variety of ways, such as whole and cooked, or in a juice form. Systolic blood pressure is reduced greatly within hours of consuming the beets. [1]

  1. Fish

In particular, fish that has a fatty or oily consistency, such as salmon, trout, tuna and mackerel, are great for lowering your diastolic blood pressure. The best ways to cook these fatty fish, to retain their goodness and benefits, are steaming, baking, barbecuing and pan frying lightly in a low-fat oil. Remember, these fish have a naturally oily consistency, so you do not need to use a lot of fat or oil for the cooking process. [1] (4)

  1. Certain Dairy Products

It may seem odd that dairy would be on this list, but the inclusion of peptides and calcium in low-fat dairy products are good for your overall health. More specific, the reduction of hypertension can be related to consuming controlled amounts of low-fat dairy, but it is advised to avoid cheese.   Stick with low-fat milk and yogurt. [1]

  1. Chocolatechocolate

We are sure you are glad this one has made the list. But, it is only dark chocolate that fits the bill, and the higher the percentage, the better. Try dark chocolate with the 70-85% pure cocoa [5], and you will see a drastic reduction in blood pressure and hypertension issues. The polyphenols (in particular flavanols) in all cocoa items have the ability to ease blood flow and widen blood vessels, this made possible by the creation of nitric oxide. [1]

Again, these foods need to be part of a healthy eating plan as well as regular exercise. Be sure to always check with your doctor before taking on an exercise plan, especially if you suffer from abnormal blood pressure symptoms. And, if any of these foods are on your allergic list, then rather avoid them all together. There is no point in assisting one ailment, but aggravating another, such as an allergy.


  1. Berkley Wellness – Foods to lower blood pressure
  2. Mayo Clinic.org – The DASH Diet
  3. Web MD – Flaxseed Benefits
  4. com – How to cook oily fish
  5. org – Harvard Study on Dark Chocolate benefits
  6. com – Studies on high pressure and fiber intake