6 Safe Weight-Loss Exercises for People with High Blood Pressure

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Susan Fishman on December 13, 2021
  • overweight-man-on-treadmill
    Get active to lower blood pressure.
    More than 78.6 million American adults are obese, which means they have a body mass index (BMI) above 30. Obesity is one of the leading causes of high blood pressure, a condition that affects more than 70 million American adults. Both conditions, if left untreated, may increase the chance of heart attack or stroke. And if you’re obese with high blood pressure, your risk is even higher. Weight loss is a great way to lower your blood pressure and your risk of heart disease. If you have mild-to-moderate high blood pressure, exercise can help lower it by 5 to 7 points, and you might see results as early as 3 to 4 weeks after increasing your activity. The key is to incorporate both aerobic activity and strength training, and choose activities you enjoy so you’ll be more likely to stick with them over the long haul. Work with your doctor to find an exercise plan that’s safe for you.
  • woman-carrying-basket-of-laundry
    1. Do a little housework.
    Most of us have a hard time fitting exercise into our busy schedules (or at least we tell ourselves we do). But even easy, everyday activities, such as housework, yard work and climbing the stairs, can have a big impact on your blood pressure. So park a little farther away from the store, or give the garage or kids’ playroom a much-needed purging. It will help you control your weight, and you’ll get a lot done — plus reduce your stress — in the process.
  • woman-walking-through-field
    2. Take a brisk walk.
    A mild exercise like walking can be just as beneficial for your blood pressure rate, and your waistline, as something more strenuous like running or cycling. The key is to pick up the pace so that your heart rate and breathing are a bit more elevated and you break a sweat, but you’re still able to easily carry on a conversation. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity most days of the week.
  • gym-weights
    3. Lift some weights.
    Spending countless hours in front of a computer or TV screen can leave our bodies less than lean and toned. Try a body-sculpting class or invest in some free weights or resistance bands to use at home with a good workout DVD to help lead the way. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends incorporating strength-training exercises at least two times a week.
  • couple-dancing-outside
    4. Go dancing.
    If you just can’t stand the thought of going to a gym or walking around the neighborhood one more time, try something new, such as a dance class — alone or with a fun partner — to get motivated to move. A team sport is another good way to mix things up so you don’t get bored with the same song and dance!
  • woman-hiking-outdoors
    5. Take a hike.
    If you’re the outdoorsy type and need a bit more scenery, hiking may be more your speed. Plus, hiking gives you the benefits of building up both your cardiovascular and muscular strength and losing a few pounds. Consider hiking with a neighbor, friend or spouse, and make it a challenge to see who reaches their distance or weight loss goals first. Connecting with others can help you stay focused and motivated to keep at it.
  • jogging-man-stretching
    6. Stretch daily.
    Activities like yoga, tai chi and Pilates are some other good ways to incorporate stretching and strength building into your exercise regimen while keeping things fresh and inspiring. Remember, you don’t have to run a marathon or join a gym to keep your blood pressure and weight in check. Stick with variety and what makes sense for your overall health and lifestyle. And, most importantly, make it a daily habit!
6 Safe Weight-Loss Exercises for People with High Blood Pressure
  1. Physical Activity and Blood Pressure. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/PreventionTreatmentofHighBloodPressure/Ph...
  2. Exercise: A drug-free approach to lowering high blood pressure. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/high-blood-pressure/art-2...
  3. Exercising Your Way to Lower Blood Pressure. American College of Sports Medicine. https://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/exercising-your-way-to-lower-blood-pressure.pdf
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Last Review Date: 2021 Dec 13
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.