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



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