Exercises to Avoid if you have High Blood Pressure

Exercises to Avoid if you have High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, properly known as hypertension, is a long-term medical condition where the blood pressure within the arteries is persistently elevated. The condition can be managed by medication, but exercising is also one of the best ways to lower your blood pressure. Therefore, in addition to hypertension medication, doctors often recommend specific exercises for people with hypertension. They work by increasing your energy, hence relieving stress, one of the main culprits triggering high blood pressure. The best exercises for people with hypertension are cardiovascular or aerobic exercises, strength training exercises, and stretching exercises. While exercising can assist with alleviating symptoms and some causes of hypertension, some exercises can be dangerous.

Exercises you Should Avoid if you Have Hypertension

Below are some exercises that will cause you more harm than good if you suffer from hypertension;

Isometric Exercises

Isometric exercises are activities involving overcoming an immovable force. The force is usually held in a static position for a defined amount of time. Isometric exercises are very dangerous for people with hypertension. Naturally, all types of exercises trigger changes in blood pressure. However, with isometric exercises, the changes are very different. For instance, isometric exercises cause both systolic and diastolic blood pressures to rise simultaneously and highly. This is mainly because, when partaking in these exercises, you are forced to hold your breath. When you do this, the pressure increases within the thorax and abdomen. This increase in pressure results in the squeezing of the peripheral blood vessel, hence increasing the overall blood pressure. This is not the same with other exercises like walking or jogging.

It is worth mentioning that the issue explained above would not be a problem for a healthy person. However, it can result in adverse symptoms for someone with hypertension – one of the most harmful effects of isometric exercises on people with hypertension is that it increases the chances of stroke. People with hypertension are naturally at a higher risk for life-threatening issues like stroke. However, introducing elements like dangerous exercises can make the situation worse. Below are some examples of isometric exercises and how they can affect you if you have high blood pressure;


Weightlifting is one of the exercises that you should avoid entirely if you suffer from hypertension. This is because weightlifting is a very intensive exercise that lasts for short periods. Such exercises tend to raise your blood pressure very quickly. They do this by putting too much strain on your heart and blood vessels.


Like weightlifting, sprinting is a highly intensive exercise. It causes the blood pressure to shoot up randomly by straining the heart and its blood vessels. This happens to anyone who participates in this type of exercise. However, for healthy people who do not suffer from hypertension, the blood pressure tends to go back to normal after a few minutes. This may not be the case for someone with a pre-existing hypertension condition.

Strength Training

Strength training exercises like vascular resistance exercises are also very dangerous for someone with hypertension. This is because your heart will have to work harder to get blood and oxygen to the muscles being worked. When this happens, the blood pressure and heart rate temporarily increase to dangerous levels.

Final Word

You should also stay away from certain other exercises or activities if you have hypertension, like skydiving and scuba diving. It is worth mentioning that exercising can be highly beneficial for someone with high blood pressure. However, it can also be dangerous. The trick is to find the right balance and only take on exercises that benefit the body instead of harming it. Therefore, if you have hypertension before you embark on any exercises, it would be wise to contact your doctor first. Your doctor will give you clearance to start and help you ensure that the exercise you participate in is safe and beneficial for your health.