Breathing Exercises To Lower Blood Pressure Naturally

breathing exercises to lower blood pressure naturally

Breathing exercises have been around a long time. They’ve been discovered to be beneficial for many medical issues including lowering blood pressure. I’m unsure why they’re not used or talked about more because they are incredibly effective. I have identified the following breathing exercises to lower blood pressure naturally.

The following is breathing exercises to lower blood pressure naturally:

  • Deep breathing
  • Free 30 second deep breathing
  • Morning breathing
  • Pause breathing
  • 4-5-6 breathing
  • Diaphragm breathing
  • Pursed lip breathing
  • Image focus
  • Controlled breathing with music

This blog post will explain in detail each breathing exercise. In addition, the simple step by step directions how to perform each one. I’ll inform you why they succeed and some studies indicating how much they lower BP.

BP TIP: A simple way to lower BP by just breathing. It’s FDA approved and The American Heart Association gave it the thumbs up. It simply guides your breathing for you a few minutes a day which has been proven to lower blood pressure as shown in the studies further down in the article. You can check it out in the manufacturer’s website by clicking here.

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Breathing Exercises to Lower Blood Pressure Naturally

Deep Breathing Exercise

This breathing exercise can be performed sitting down, standing up or lying down. Sitting or lying down is the most preferred because you can be more relaxed. It’s one of the most easiest exercises without having to put much thought into it. Follow these simple steps:

  • Pick a position for your body in a quiet area.
  • Close your eyes and relax.
  • Breath in slowly and deeply for a 5 second count.
  • Breath out slowly at the same pace for another 5 second count.
  • If it’s possible, try breathing in and out through your nose. If not, attempt to breath in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  • Keep repeating the breathing cycles for about one minute.

Free 30 Second Deep Breathing Exercise

I call this exercise Free 30 Second because you’re free to breath any way you want for 30 seconds as long as they are slow and deep. Unlike the first deep breathing exercise, you don’t have to count or concentrate on using your nose or mouth, just breath. Follow these steps:

  • Sit down in a quit area and relax your whole body.
  • Set a timer for 30 seconds. Setting a timer is important because you don’t have to break your concentration while thinking how much longer you have.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Breath in and out deeply and slowly until the timer goes off.
  • If you like, you can repeat the cycles as long as you want.

If you’re wondering why 30 seconds was picked, read the study down below. It explains how much people lowered their blood pressure by performing this breathing exercise in just 30 seconds.

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Morning Breathing Exercise

Although its name is morning breathing, feel free to perform this exercise any time during the day or night. This exercise involves more body movement and needs to be done standing up. These are the steps:

  • Stand up straight with your knees slightly bent.
  • Bend forward at the waist very slowly until your torso is almost parallel with the floor. If bending over is difficult, only bend as far as you’re able to.
  • At the same time, relax your arms and let them hang loose down towards the floor.
  • While taking a deep breath slowly raise your body straight up again allowing your head to be the last part to lift up.
  • As you exhale, pivot your torso back down again.
  • Slowly repeat for about 30-60 seconds.

Pause Breathing Exercise

You can perform this exercise sitting or lying down. You’ll inhale and exhale at equal lengths but taking a slight pause in between. Try using your nose, if not use your mouth. Follow these steps:

  • Sit or lay down in a quiet area.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Inhale through your nose slowly for a count of four.
  • Pause slightly and feel your lungs filled with air.
  • Exhale slowly for the same count of four.
  • Pause slightly and feel your lungs empty.
  • Repeat the cycle for 30 to 60 seconds.

4-5-6 Breathing Exercise

Perform this breathing exercise sitting or laying down. Like the morning breathing exercise, this one requires a little more effort and practice than the others. Follow these steps:

  • Sit or lay down in a quiet area.
  • Close your eyes and relax your body.
  • Inhale slowly through your nose for a count of four.
  • Hold this breath for a count of five.
  • Exhale through your mouth for a count of six.
  • Repeat this cycle for three or four times without resting or normal breathing in between cycles.

Diaphragm Breathing Exercise

This exercise is performed while laying down and focuses on strengthening your diaphragm. Have two pillows available and follow these steps:

  • Lie flat on your back on a comfortable surface like a bed.
  • Bend your knees slightly and place a pillow underneath them for support.
  • Rest your head on a comfortable pillow.
  • Place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your belly.
  • Close your eyes and relax your body.
  • Inhale slowly through your nose. While you inhale, you stomach should rise and your chest shouldn’t move. The hand on the stomach should move, and the hand on the chest should stay still.
  • Exhale through your closely opened lips. The hand on your stomach should come back down while the hand on your chest should stay still.
  • Repeat the cycles for about one minute.

lower blood pressure naturally

Pursed Lip Breathing Exercise

This exercise can be performed sitting, standing or laying down. It’s simple and easy but has two different counts. Perform the following steps:

  • Position your body in a quiet area.
  • Close your eyes and relax all your muscles.
  • While keeping your mouth closed, inhale slowly through your nose for a count of two.
  • Shape your lips as if you were going to whistle. Exhale slowly through them for a count of four.
  • Repeat the cycles for about 30 to 60 seconds.

Image Focus Breathing

You can do this one sitting or laying down. As you breath you’re going to focus on an image in your mind. The image should be something that you like and relaxes you. It can be a beach scene, getting a massage or taking a warm bath. Those are just examples, pick whatever scene you like and then follow these steps:

  • Sit or lay down in a quiet area.
  • Close your eyes and relax your body.
  • Focus on the image you chose.
  • Breath slowly in through your nose for a count of five.
  • Exhale through your mouth and let out a sigh at the same time. Don’t forget to focus on your image.
  • Every time you exhale, imagine you’re letting out stress with your sigh.
  • Your sigh may get more quiet and calm as you progress through the exercise.
  • Repeat the cycles as long as you wish.

Controlled Breathing With Music Exercise

You can perform this exercise sitting or laying down. There are two ways you can accomplish this exercise. The first is to perform any of the breathing exercises above but with calming soft music playing in the background. The second way is to find a relaxation breathing exercise on the internet that is controlled by a person’s verbal instructions with soft background music.

This exercise was picked because of a blood pressure study. It was performed with one group listening to music while performing a breathing exercise while the other group listened to music only. Read the study down below and find out which group lowered blood pressure more and by how much.

Studies Showing How Breathing Exercises Lowers Blood Pressure

Study

I find this study extremely interesting. It’s a study based on a breathing exercise device and how it lowers blood pressure. The device is electronic and a breathing sensor wraps around your waist like a belt. It monitors your breathing activity and tells you how to breath with two soothing tones sent through the ear buds. One tone signals you to breath in and another to breath out. This device takes the thinking out of your breathing exercise and does it for you.

How well does this device work? It gets the same results as the breathing exercises or better. There are 16 different trials, but I’ll tell you about this one. A 67 year-old woman used the device for 8 weeks and lowered her blood pressure. Her systolic decreased by 17 mmHg and diastolic by 14 mmHg 1.

The device has nothing to do with medication. In addition, it’s cleared by the FDA and doesn’t require a prescription. The American Heart Association considers the device a reasonable treatment for lowering blood pressure 2. If you’re interested in learning more about it and check it’s current price, visit their website by clicking here.

Study

This study involves the participants listening to music and breathing. One group listened to music and performed a breathing exercise. The other group listened to music only. Both groups lowered their blood pressure but the group performing the breathing exercise reduced it more. They lowered both systolic and diastolic by 7.5/4.0 mmHg. The music only group lowered BP 5.0/2.7 mmHg 3.

Study

This is the 30 second breathing study I mentioned earlier in the article. This study involved 21,563 participants who were divided into two groups. One groups blood pressure was measured before conducting a 30 second breathing exercise and again after. The other groups BP were measured before and after a 30-second rest sitting down.

Both groups reduced systolic and diastolic BP but the breathing group experienced a larger decrease. The breathing exercise group reduced systolic by 6.4 mmHg and diastolic by 8.3 mmHg. The group which rested with no breathing reduced systolic by 3.0 mmHg and diastolic by 7.4 mmHg 4.

Study

A recent study examined how daily breathing exercise would affect the blood pressure of people who had isolated systolic hypertension. They performed 8 weeks of a daily breathing exercise. Each day the participants took 6 breaths per minute for 60 breaths. At the end of the 8 weeks systolic BP decreased 22 mmHg and diastolic by 9 mmHg 5.

deep breathing to lower blood pressure

How Breathing Exercises Lowers Blood Pressure

It all narrows down to stress and the sympathetic nervous system 6. This is the fight or flight reflex that gets triggered when we get stressed. It was great for our ancestors when they had to run away from a wild animal in the woods, and it still works for us too when needed.

The problem is, the sympathetic nervous system can’t tell the difference between a wild animal or stress in our daily lives that didn’t exist thousands of years ago. When you’re running late for work, your blood vessels constrict, your heart rate increases and this raises your blood pressure. Chronic stress can also lead to more serious cardiovascular problems and diseases.

Deep breathing exercises and slowed breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system. This decreases your heart rate and opens up your blood vessels 7. It reduces your blood pressure and what makes breathing exercises so effective.

Wrapping Up

Give one of these breathing exercises a try. They not only help to lower blood pressure but they can make you feel more relaxed. In addition, they are a great way to reduce stress. Some of these exercises can be done at work on your break or at your desk.

Schedule a few minutes a day out of your busy schedule and pick one of the exercises. I’ve included nine different breathing exercises, you can perform a different one each day of the week. This can help relieve any boredom. You may discover you prefer one particular exercise. It’s okay if you do the same one repeatedly.

Breathing exercises are a nice compliment to pressure points. I discuss of few of them in my Top Tips Health Guide Book. It’s an instant download, you can check it out right now by clicking here, Heath Guide.

Read Next

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Lower Blood Pressure Naturally with 3 Easy, Quick Methods

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Article Resources: Blood Pressure Explained follows strict guidelines to ensure our content is the highest journalistic standard. It's our mission to provide the reader with accurate, honest and unbiased guidance. Our content relies on medical associations, research institutions, government agencies and study resources. Learn more by reading our editorial policy.
  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Device-Guided Breathing to Lower Blood Pressure: Case Report and Clinical Overview[]
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Device-guided breathing exercises for the treatment of hypertension: An Overview[]
  3. Journal of Human Hypertension: Breathing-control lowers blood pressure[]
  4. National Center for Biotechnology Information: How does deep breathing affect office blood pressure and pulse rate? []
  5. Wiley Online Library: The effects of slow loaded breathing training on exercise blood pressure in isolated systolic hypertension[]
  6. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Neuroanatomy, Sympathetic Nervous System[]
  7. National Center for Biotechnology Information: Neuroanatomy, Parasympathetic Nervous System[]

Kevin Garce

Kevin Garce is a Certified Health Coach who encourages people by informing them on blood pressure topics important to them. His years of research and knowledge inspire people to achieve their goals. Read more here About Me

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