Breathing Exercises to Reduce Blood Pressure: Breathing Exercises to Reduce Blood Pressure – Breathing is something we do every day, whether we are consciously breathing and subconsciously leaving it to our automated system. We do it to live, but did you know that the way you breath can drastically affect your health? It did, spending a few minutes of our day consciously breathing can reduce the blood pressure in our body. Since high sodium intake, obesity, lack of physical activity, smoking, and stress are major causes of blood pressure, breathing calmly helps settle the body.
Breathing Exercises to Reduce Blood Pressure
When we sit down and consciously breathe through breathing exercises, we reduce stress through control. As we know stress is a major contributing factor to blood pressure, but by controlling our breathing we calm down or sympathetic nervous system, or in other words our fight or flight response. It lowers the feeling of stress by increasing blood flow to our bodies tissue, in turn, reducing resistance in your blood vessels and increasing your exercise tolerance. While breathing the diaphragm moves up and down, and it facilitates blood flow towards the heart lowering blood pressure. In fact, these breathing exercises are even FDA approved and are proved to reduce blood pressure. So let’s get to them!
Nadi sadhana (alternate nostril breathing) – Breathing Exercises to Reduce Blood Pressure
Yoga has exercises and answers to a lot of health issues, and it is no less when it comes to lowering blood pressure. This is an exercise that is done by alternating nostrils while breathing. First, you must hold the left nostril with your ring finger, cutting off all air supply from that nostril and take a huge breath in. After inhaling, hold it but this time close your right nostril with your ring finger. Now exhale. After 5 minutes switch, inhale from left and exhale from a right. This exercise is known to unite the right and left the side of your brain. Also, it can wake you up more, so it’s perfect for mornings as a healthy substitute for caffeine.
Abdominal breathing technique – Breathing Exercises to Reduce Blood Pressure
In this activity, place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly near your abdomen. When you take a breath, you should feel your diaphragm expand with air. Keep doing this for 10 minutes where you should take 6 – 10 breaths. This method is known to immediately reduce heart rate and blood pressure. If done for 6 – 8 weeks the benefits are known to last even if the exercise is not continued. This is particularly useful before stressful events to calm you down, so next time you have a performance or interview, try it! If it proves difficult to follow this exercise, try using peaceful music or meditation recordings to help count with you.
Kapalabhati – Breathing Exercises to Reduce Blood Pressure
This training is a bit hard to master than the other breathing techniques, but it is quite famous and straightforward. Just take one long inhale, but exhale is quick, at a time, and in a compelling manner. The power for the exhale should come from the lower abdomen area. You should physically be able to feel your diaphragm moving in this one if you place you hand over it. One cycle every 1 to 2 seconds starting with ten breaths should be enough. This is again done in the morning as it is known to wake one up. It is also a great abdominal exercise and does help stay in shape.
Sama Vritti (equal breathing) – Breathing Exercises to Reduce Blood Pressure
Similar to pranayama, it is breathing through the nose and counting. Holding the breath up to five secs each is good, but experts go up to 6 – 8 seconds as the first exercise. This breathing calms the nervous system and increases focus. This one is recommended to be done in a quiet place before bedtime, and it also helps fall asleep.
Meditation (progressive relaxation) – Breathing Exercises to Reduce Blood Pressure
This is something that can be said, from experience, works like a charm. What you do is first find a very comfortable position to sit or preferably lay down in. Then start relaxing all the muscles in your body, one at a time. It is preferred if you start at the feet and toes and move up to higher tissues like hair follicles. It should feel like a message in every nerve of your body. Remember to focus on one muscle at a time, like toes and jaw instead of the whole foot or face. It is great even if you are tired or have had a lack of sleep, as it is so relaxing that it feels like a good nights sleep. This is difficult on its own, so it is better to use a meditating audio to help. This should all be done while maintaining regular breathing. This can be down anywhere and everywhere, although at first it is preferred in a comfortable environment to get used to it.
Happy place Breathing – Breathing Exercises to Reduce Blood Pressure and Reduce Stress
To be honest, this is one of my favorite ways to relax and breath. Just like the first exercise, but instead of concentrating on breathing you imagine that you are at a place you love. It doesn’t have actually to exist, as long as you are happy there. It seems too straightforward and crazy at the same time, but a lot of psychologists also recommend the go to your happy place method. It is like forcing your mind to have a great dream and giving your mind to focus on imagining something rather than leaving an idle mind. Because we all know what people say about that…
Different people relax various ways, so if there is something else that works for you, go for it! But for those of you that haven’t found your specific way, try the above methods. All are proven to work, and the best way to try it is to jump right into it and not doubt the treatment. After all, relaxing is just putting your mind over matter! Stay healthy!