Strength training and Supplementation to manage High blood pressure

According to the American Heart Association, a person has high blood pressure or hypertension when he or she has a systolic blood pressure number of 180 milligram of Mercury (mm Hg) and over.

Typically, you should have a systolic and diastolic number reading of 120/80 mm Hg or below which represents a normal blood pressure.

But how can you lower your blood pressure if you notice that it’s on the high side?

Well, there are several ways to bring down your blood pressure including having proper rest and sleep, eating healthy, clean meals, using natural supplements, and engaging in strength training.

Understanding Blood Pressure

In layman’s terms, blood pressure is that force at which the blood pumped by the heart travels through the blood vessels. When the force at which blood travels through blood vessels is higher than normal, and over a long period of time which could be weeks, months or even years, it results in a medical condition referred to as high blood pressure or hypertension.

However, where the force of blood flowing through the blood vessels is lower than normal over a period of time, it is a reverse condition referred to as low blood pressure of hypotension.

In the field of medicine, a person’s blood pressure is measured by two numbers, namely; the systolic or upper number and the diastolic or lower number which is presented in milligrams of Mercury or mm Hg.

The systolic or upper number is obtained by measuring the blood pressure during a heart beat while the diastolic or lower number is measured by the blood pressure between heart beats or during the brief rest period of the heart prior to a subsequent heart beat.

According to the American Heart Association, a normal blood pressure is a systolic and diastolic reading that is less than 120/80 mm Hg while a high blood pressure is one with a systolic measurement of 180 mm Hg and above.

The Impact of Strength Training to Blood Pressure

It is important to know right now that regular workouts can impact positively on your overall health and that includes your cardiovascular conditioning. In fact, whenever you engage in strength training, you are likely to experience changes in your blood pressure.

A one-off weight training session could see you experience a temporary spike in blood pressure, but this temporary rise in blood pressure is often as a result of your body reacting to the sudden change from your normal activity. However, with regular resistance training, your blood pressure will lower over a sustained period of time.

As you engage in strength training, your heart will beat much faster than normal resulting in a greater amount of blood circulated throughout your entire body system. What this means is that your active muscle groups will also receive a steady flow of oxygenated blood.

As your heart rate rises during this time due to high-intensity interval training, it pumps a greater amount of blood which then leads to a spike in your blood pressure as a result of rising blood flow. However, this rise in blood pressure is not necessarily harmful to your health, indeed the exact opposite is often the case.

Many individuals experience post-exercise hypotension, this is where their blood pressure drops below normal resting blood pressure levels and this occurs after a strength training session.

This post-exercise hypotension may last for a few hours at a time. As you regularly engage in weight training, you tend to experience a mixed bag of high blood pressure and post-exercise hypotension which will eventually add-up over time to stabilize your blood pressure level to a more normal state.

The problem with high blood pressure is when it remains at a high rate over an extended length of time, this is when it can be detrimental to your cardiovascular health.

The Effects of Strength Training on Your Blood Pressure

While post-exercise hypotension will help bring down an otherwise high blood pressure, this is not the only advantage that you can experience from regular strength training.

Another positive impact that resistance training has on your blood pressure has to do with your heart muscle. Your heart muscle will become stronger as you spend sufficient time each week lifting weights and engaging in endurance exercises.

The effect that a strong heart muscle has on your blood pressure is that it will help your heart to pump oxygen-rich blood to all parts of your body in a more efficient manner which in time will help to reduce your blood pressure.

Regular strength training sessions will help to keep your blood pressure at a normal range.

In fact experts say that beginners can lower their blood pressure by as much as 5 points if they maintain a strength training program over a period of a few months. Resistance training will also help to improve your blood vessel functions which invariably leads to lowering your blood pressure.

In addition to this, strength training is known to aid with weight loss which is great if you want to lower your blood pressure. The American Heart Association states that losing anywhere from 5 Lb to 10 Lb of body weight will see you experience a significant dropoff in your high blood pressure.

How to Perform Strength Training Safely for Blood Pressure Gains

#1. Check with your doctor first

Before you decide to engage in strength training, especially if you suffer from hypertension, you should first consult with your physician.

The last thing you want if you suffer from one cardiovascular health condition or another, is to aggravate the risk factors and endanger your health and life.

You can be at risk of strokes, heart attacks, and heart failure if you start a weight training program without first getting an all-clear from your doctor.

#2. Observe warm-up and cool-down periods

Before you start lifting weights, you need to spend some time doing some warm-up lifts. This will ensure that your heart gradually picks up pace rather than beating fast from the onset. By doing so, you will avoid sudden spikes in your blood pressure.

Also, once you have concluded your weight training session, you should spend some cool-down period (between 5 to 10 minutes) by doing light cardio workouts and stretching exercises, such as; jump rope, sprint-walk-sprint, walking, jogging, cycling, and box jumps.

#3. Avoid training when ill

If you are feeling ill, do not engage in any rigorous activity and that includes strength training.

You should try to rest and recover from your sickness first before resuming your weight training program.

#4. Lift moderate weights for more repetitions

You should try to focus on lifting moderate weights that allow you to execute more repetitions. This way you will not experience muscle fatigue quickly, as your heart beats at a steady pace that will not see your blood pressure surging to dangerous levels.

During your resistance training, you should try lifting weights for between 3 to 4 sets with 8, 10, and 12 repetitions per set.

#5. Gradually lift heavy

While achieving a steady pace in weight training can help you to avoid sudden spikes in your blood pressure, you should also try to increase your weights aiming for moderate to heavy weights, as this is generally seen as the best way to lower your blood pressure over time.

However, this rise in weight class should take place at a steady pace rather than quickly to avoid a sudden rise in your blood pressure.
Also, you should try to include cardio workout to your strength training regimen.

As a matter of fact, the American Heart Association suggests that a minimum of 75 minutes should be spent on high-intensity aerobic exercises weekly while 150 minutes should be spent on moderate-intensity endurance workouts per week, if you want to maintain a normal blood pressure and healthy cardiovascular system. You can also target doing two to three strength training sessions per week as well.

The Best Supplementation to Manage High Blood Pressure

While strength training offers a lot of blood pressure benefits, you can stand a better chance of regulating your blood pressure with a more holistic approach.

The use of dietary supplements can help to put your blood pressure in check and prevent sudden spikes that may have far-reaching health consequences.

Supplements like potassium, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin B2, C, and D are known to be effective in lowering high blood pressure and preventing hypertension.


Even though it is estimated that more than 30% of people around the globe suffer from high blood pressure, you can avoid being a statistic by engaging in weight training and using the right dietary supplements along with eating clean, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle devoid of alcohol, and cigarette smoking.

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