Photo of person taking their blood pressure

The Best Exercise for High Blood Pressure Is Not What You Think

In All Health Watch, Blood Pressure, Featured Article, Fitness and Exercise, Heart and Cardiovascular

Exercise has long been one of the go-to natural remedies for high blood pressure. Typically, people with hypertension are told to do cardio…the more, the better.

The problem is that the results are usually modest. You might get a couple of points lower.

Some people don’t get any drop at all.

Now, researchers have an exercise that works far better than cardio to control hypertension. It takes only five minutes a day. And you don’t have to jog a single step or lift a single weight.

All you have to do is…breathe.[i]

It all started with research at the University of Arizona in 2016.

The Simple Breathing Trick that Lowers Blood Pressure

Scientists had sleep apnea patients take 30 breaths a day through something called an inspiratory muscle trainer (IMT). This device is often used in hospitals to wean people off ventilators. It makes it more difficult to inhale, strengthening the muscles you use to breathe.[ii]

The researchers found that using an IMT did help relieve apnea. But it did something else unexpected. It lowered patients’ systolic (the upper number) blood pressure by an average of12 points.

That’s twice the decrease most people get from aerobic exercise. And it’s more than most medications provide.

Scientists then tested IMTs on people without sleep apnea. Again, they experienced significant drops in blood pressure. There were other benefits as well… The subjects performed better on cognitive tests and could exercise longer.

Breathe Your Way to Lower Blood Pressure

IMT devices are widely available. They range in price from about $30 to $80. They are sold on Amazon and at medical supply retailers.

They look like this…

IMTs are easy to use. Typically, you place the aperture in your mouth and breathe through it for 30 breaths, twice daily. It forces you to work harder to inhale. Most models allow you to adjust the difficulty level.

Researcher Dr. Daniel Craighead points out that high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, the number one cause of death in America. He praises the breathing device as a “great option” to treat hypertension.

If you have high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about using an IMT.

Editor’s Note: Discover other natural, nondrug methods to improve your health by reading Independent Healing. It’s your best source for unbiased, evidence-based health information.

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