I previously published a paper called “Novel Exercises and Stretches for Managing High Blood Pressure” that showed diaphragm exercises, holding prolonged static stretches, and performing a few minutes of isometric contractions a few times a week could lower systolic and diastolic blood pressures by 10.4 mmHg and 6.7 mmHg, respectively. In this recent paper Edwards et al. (1) analyzed 270 randomized controlled trials that included nearly 16,000 participants to evaluate the effect different types of exercise had on high blood pressure. The authors analyzed the effect that aerobic exercise, dynamic resistance training, combined training, high-intensity interval training, and isometric exercises each had on hypertension. The end result of this large-scale systematic review was that isometric exercise training protocols were far and away the most effective for reducing both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The authors state that this research should provide “a comprehensive data-driven framework to support the development of new exercise guideline recommendations for the prevention and treatment of arterial hypertension.” My favorite exercise for lowering blood pressure is illustrated in figure 1.
Edwards J, et al. Exercise training and resting blood pressure: a large-scale pairwise and network meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. British J Sports Med. 2023 Oct 1;57:1317-26.
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