High blood pressure can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart disease. However, daily breathing exercises can lower blood pressure and reduce these risks. Blood pressure is the pressure exerted by blood flow on the walls of a person’s arteries. Persistently high blood pressure can damage other organs, including the heart, kidneys, brain, and eyes.

Many people do breathing exercises to control panic attacks or reduce feelings of anxiety. A 2023 exploratory study concluded that breathing exercises may also help lower blood pressure. This article looks at the different breathing exercises you can do to lower your blood pressure and how long their effects last.

Can breathing exercises lower blood pressure quickly?

Blood pressure tests measure two types of blood pressure: systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP). PAS measures pressure when a person’s heart is beating, while PAD measures pressure when the heart is resting. Doctors measure both types of pressure in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Breathing exercises are generally aimed at slowing down the number of breaths a person takes each minute. The 2023 scoping review suggests that just 2 minutes of slow, deep breathing could reduce high blood pressure in people with high blood pressure by 8.6 mm Hg and low blood pressure by 4.9 mm Hg.

Are breathing exercises to lower blood pressure safe?

Breathing exercises are safe for most people and simple to perform. Breathing exercises allow a person’s lungs to work more efficiently. There are several types of breathing exercises a person can learn when trying to lower their blood pressure.

diaphragmatic breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing, or belly breathing, involves consciously slowing down your breathing while allowing your belly to expand. To practice belly breathing, a person can follow these instructions:

Sit down and place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
Inhale slowly through your nose keeping your mouth closed. While inhaling, allow the belly to fill with air, but keep the chest still.
Exhale slowly through your mouth. Try to make the exhale longer than the inhale.

Follow these steps to practice box breathing:

Sit comfortably and exhale slowly through your mouth.
Close your mouth and inhale slowly for a count of four.
Pause and slowly count to four again while holding your breath.
Exhale through your mouth for a count of four again, at the same speed as before.

The idea is that each step takes the same amount of time, with the four steps schematically forming a box. With practice, the number of steps can be increased, ensuring that each step has the same duration.

4-7-8 method

Another rhythmic breathing technique, the 4-7-8, must be practiced to be perfect. Here are the steps to follow:

Sit comfortably and exhale slowly through your mouth.
Close your mouth and inhale slowly for 4 seconds.
Pause and hold your breath for 7 seconds.
Purse your lips and exhale forcefully through your mouth for 8 seconds.
What must be remembered here is the relationship between the breaths. If a person feels dizzy or dizzy while practicing this technique, they can shorten the duration.

Are breathing exercises effective in lowering blood pressure?

According to an exploratory study from 2023, there is strong evidence that breathing exercises reduce blood pressure. They point out that 17 out of 20 studies recorded a decrease in low and high blood pressure. They suggest that regular, slow, deep breathing can significantly reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension over a 12-week period.

Does holding breath lower blood pressure?

A 2019 study looking at breath holding and its effects on blood pressure states that breath holding can raise a person’s blood pressure.
The study suggests that rhythmic breath retention does not affect blood pressure in the same way as slow breathing exercises. If a person wishes to lower their blood pressure, slow breathing techniques may be more effective.

Other ways to lower blood pressure

Doctors can prescribe medications to lower blood pressure. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, certain lifestyle changes may also be helpful. They recommend

to be physically active
achieve and maintain a moderate body mass index
adopt a nutritious diet
reduce salt intake
avoid smoking, if applicable
limit alcohol consumption

Summary

Breathing exercises can help lower blood pressure. They are simple to perform and most people get favorable results if they practice them regularly.
Most breathing exercises involve consciously slowing the rate of breathing and taking deeper breaths.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.