Can You Lower Your Blood Pressure with Breathing? Lifestyle Changes That Work

High blood pressure is a serious health problem that impacts millions of people and, according to the CDC, costs the nation $131 billion every year. Though blood pressure medicines may help many people with severe conditions, natural therapies may provide even more benefits. Why? Well, they cut out heavy medicine intake and effectively lower your blood pressure.

What are a few ways to handle this process? Relaxation techniques, like yoga and controlled breathing, help a lot. Knowing proper breathing techniques helps you lower your blood pressure naturally. Interested in learning more? Read on to learn how to lower your blood pressure with breathing. Note that severe problems may still need medicines to avoid long-lasting issues.

Understanding Blood Pressure

Before teaching you about the connection between breathing exercises and lower blood pressure, it’s important to understand more about blood pressure in general. Many people misunderstand this concept and try lowering blood pressure by breathing.

While deep breathing for blood pressure is a smart choice, doing it without knowing why is a mistake you shouldn’t make. Let’s take a deep look at this concern to help you better understand how it affects you and to minimize any potential problems that could affect you.

What is Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the force your heart uses to push your blood through your body. High blood pressure or hypertension is often called the silent killer because it typically has no symptoms but can cause strokes, heart attacks, aneurysms, kidney diseases, heart failure, and enlarged hearts.

Healthy blood pressure levels minimize this risk and help with hypertension prevention. Many people experience hypertension due to poor exercise levels, a bad diet, and other concerning issues. Understanding your treatment options can ensure that you recover effectively.

Medical Treatments Help

Typically, doctors start blood pressure treatment with medications that help to control your blood pressure safely. However, physicians also strongly recommend natural therapies to help manage blood pressure effectively. Changes in diet, exercise, and other simple remedies may all help. In fact, breathing exercises, particularly deep and controlled breaths, may help reduce your blood pressure.

Importance of Natural Approaches

You might wonder why you should lower your blood pressure with breathing when medications can provide fast help. That’s an understandable concern, and frankly, medicines remain an important tool in this fight. However, high blood pressure medications can cause some side effects that may concern you. Just a few that you need to consider if you take these medicines include:

  • Erectile dysfunction in some mean
  • Weakness, leg cramps, and fatigue
  • Intense foot pain that may indicate gout
  • High urination levels
  • Asthma-like symptoms
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Insomnia
  • Dry, hacking coughs
  • Skin rash
  • Loss of taste
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Headaches

If these symptoms concern you, it’s important to know how to lower blood pressure naturally. Holistic and natural care options can minimize these symptoms and help you recover. But can deep breathing lower blood pressure? Absolutely! How does deep breathing for blood pressure work? We’ll take a look at that soon. For now, just know that lowering blood pressure by breathing is possible and beneficial.

Controlled Breathing Techniques

Learning how to lower your blood pressure by breathing requires a careful understanding of the techniques you’ll use. It also requires you to understand the concept of deep breathing exercises and how to handle them. This section will not only examine a few deep breathing exercises but even discuss mindfulness meditation, which is one of the quickest ways to reduce your blood pressure.

Deep Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing for blood pressure is not a new concept but is one few people truly understand. In fact, breathing deeply can provide many benefits that make it more than worth your time. It’s not only one of the best ways to lower blood pressure naturally but effective for a variety of other concerns. So, if you’re interested in trying to lower your blood pressure with breathing, here are other benefits:

  • Manage Breathing Problems: If you have asthma or COPD, deep breathing may not only lower your blood pressure but also help with many of these conditions’ symptoms.
  • Help Emotional Health: Are you struggling with anxiety and depression? Deep breathing can help clear your head, bring more oxygen to your brain, and manage them effectively.
  • Reduce Headache Pain: People who struggle with headaches often find that deep breathing naturally reduces their tension and minimizes their pain quickly and effectively.
  • Improve Bowel Problems: Surprisingly, deep breathing can help with irritable bowel syndrome by releasing tension in the digestive system and improving its operation.

A Simple Deep Breathing Exercise to Try

If you want to get your blood pressure down right now, try this simple breathing exercise. Some research shows that even a few minutes of deep breathing could decrease your blood pressure almost immediately. Note that this increase may not be permanent without other lifestyle changes. Without further ado, let’s take a deep dive into this subject to learn more about deep breathing routines:

  • Find a comfortable chair and sit with your feet on the floor
  • Close your eyes and block out all distractions, such as music or television
  • Put your hand on your belly with your pinky just above the belly button
  • Breathe in deeply and slowly, paying close attention to how your diaphragm draws in air
  • Put your free hand on your chest and refocus your breathing to avoid moving the chest
  • Inhale slowly to three and then exhale slowly for three seconds
  • Focus heavily on your diaphragm to keep your breathing smoother

Mindful Meditation

Mindful meditation is an important way to lower your blood pressure through breathing and minimize excessively high readings. Don’t be afraid of the word “meditation” here: we know that some people might think it’s incredibly hard to properly meditate. In fact, it’s one of the most natural things in the world: you probably meditate every day without even realizing it.

A Few Practices to Consider

Basic mindfulness meditation focuses simply on closing your eyes, stilling your thoughts, and letting your brain focus on what’s important. Pay attention to how you breathe and listen to the world around you. Note how your body feels as you sit and carefully correct your posture to improve your breathing. Focus on living in the moment, decreasing your anxiety, and accepting yourself.

As your practice improves, you can try moving onto body scan meditation (where you lie on your back and assess your body’s feelings), sitting meditation (which lets you focus more carefully on breathing), and even walking meditation (with your eyes open but your mind focused inward). You’ll be surprised at how easily meditation comes to you and how well it improves your breathing and blood pressure.

Lifestyle Modifications

While it’s good to lower your blood pressure with breathing, trying to lower your blood pressure naturally requires more than simply deep breathing for blood pressure. In fact, it’s best to pair lowering blood pressure by breathing with various lifestyle modifications that improve your overall health.

Typically, various types of exercises, lifestyle changes, and other tweaks to your life can improve your blood pressure. Work with your physician to find an approach that makes sense for you by talking about the unique therapy options mentioned in the next few sections.

So, if you plan on mastering deep breathing for blood pressure, make sure that you pay attention to the following techniques. Furthermore, understand that deep breathing while taking your blood pressure may cause improper readings, so breathe normally and naturally to track your real pressure.

Dietary Recommendations

Honestly, your diet probably has the biggest impact on your blood pressure. Deep breathing definitely helps manage anxiety, stress, and other factors that can increase your readings. However, concepts like the DASH diet and eating low-sodium foods can help even more with your blood pressure.

The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is designed specifically to help reduce hypertension risks. It focuses on low-sodium foods and limits you to just 2,300 milligrams of salt a day. Too much sodium can heavily increase your blood pressure and impact your overall health.

Typically, the DASH diet focuses on a pretty broad range of foods that provide you with a surprising array of different meal options. So, even if it sounds somewhat limiting, you’ll be surprised at how well it helps manage your blood pressure and improve your overall health in multiple ways.

If you’re interested in the DASH diet and low-sodium foods, it’s important to know a few that might work well for you. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular of these options to help you create a meal plan that makes the most sense for your needs:

  • Citrus Foods: Fruits like grapefruit, oranges, and lemons can help reduce your blood pressure and even manage inflammation and other problems that impact your overall health.
  • Fatty Fish: While you might think that fatty fish would be bad for your heart, their fat is very healthy and helps reduce your blood pressure to minimize hypertension problems.
  • Leafy Greens: The best leafy greens, like kale and spinach, provide many types of nutrients that can reduce your blood pressure and minimize your heart disease risk.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Throw out your potato chips and ice cream and eat nuts and seeds instead. As one of the healthiest snacks, their fats can help improve your heart health in various ways.
  • Legumes: Legumes are an underrated food type that is particularly healthy for many types of issues and will naturally and safely decrease your blood pressure.
  • Berries: As one of the least sugary and healthy food types in the world, just about any berry will reduce your blood pressure and improve your heart health.
  • Amaranth: This delicious food can be used in many types of meals and will provide many heart-health benefits, including reducing your blood pressure.

Physical Activity

The best exercises can help reduce your blood pressure, especially when combined with a better diet, medications, and healthy deep breathing routines. Here are a few exercises you may want to try:

  • Structured aerobics classes, like Zumba and fitness courses
  • Walking faster than normal to elevate your heart rate
  • Hiking, running, or jogging in the outdoors
  • Cycling for at least 10 minutes while actively pedaling
  • Dancing with your full body for 10-30 minutes or more
  • Gardening and other yard work that keeps you active
  • Regular swimming to help you whole body

Photo of author

Stevie Compango, CNSC, CPT

Stevie is Certified Nutrition Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer for the past 10 years. He specializes in mobility and chronic pain management. His methods have helped thousands of clients improve the quality of their life through movement.

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