Can 4–7–8 breathing exercise help lower blood pressure? Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Can 4–7–8 breathing exercise help lower blood pressure? Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Can you lower blood pressure with 4–7–8 breathing exercise? Image by Gerd Altman from Pixaybay

Inhale, hold, exhale. Will it replace meds?

What can be easier than doing a 2 minute breathing exercise to gain health benefits? No equipment, no meds, no cost. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 7 seconds, exhale for 8 seconds. Repeat. But does breathing exercise for high blood pressure really work? 478 breathing exercise has been proven effective for lowering anxiety and better sleep. How about hypertension?

There is plenty of scientific evidence which proves that slow breathing exercises, which 4–7–8 breathing belongs to, actually do have relaxation and healing effects [1].

Based on my personal experience with…


How to make breath holding a part of your daily routine for better health, more focus and higher exercise performance

Whales are masters of breath holding
Whales are masters of breath holding
Whales are masters of breath holding. Image by Adam Ernster (Pexels)

What is the easiest way to integrate a health exercise into a daily routine? Do it while walking! What if there was an exercise with significant health benefits which one could perform while walking for just 15 minutes? In fact there is one — breath holding. Before we look at in detail let’s review several facts about breath holding.

Do you know how long blue whales, air breathing mammals with an average lifespan of around 90 years, could hold their…


How to make slow breathing a daily habit for life in 4 steps.

Echidnas live longer than other mammals of similar size

“The doctor wants to talk to you about the blood test,” said the nurse worryingly. As I was sitting in the waiting room I felt close to having a panic attack. Heightened anxiety which I thought had long gone was creeping back in. What nasty disease have they found during this regular medical checkup? That’s when I thought about using a box breathing exercise used by the Navy Seals to calm down and get focused before a mission. I tried the recommended breathing pattern of inhaling/holding breath/exhaling/holding…


How I went from a hypertensive stressed out exec to competing in triathlon races. The trick lies in hacking your brain

From hypertensive exec to Ironman finisher

October 2015. It’s me and two thousand others in wetsuits on the cold sand. Cold, because the warming sun has only started to rise over the Mediterranean Sea. A lady in her 60s is confidently adjusting her swim goggles next to me. I’m shaking. We’re high on adrenaline. The crowd is shouting 5, 4, 3… and Boom! Suddenly all of my anxiety disappears. I’m in the zone. …


My Garmin app made me a late New Year present on January 12th this year. It is a screenshot from Garmin app at the top of this article. I admit, it made me very happy! Earlier I made a post on my website (see profile) which explains why VO2Max, a number which shows how effectively your body processes oxygen, is such an important health indicator. In short: higher VO2Max translates in higher probability of living longer. The abovementioned post explains how scientists arrived at this conclusion and you if you know your number you can compare it to average population…


How to choose the most effective breathing app?

You decided to practice breathing exercises. How to choose the most effective breathing app?

Breathing exercises are a new health trend

Follow along breathing exercises are quickly becoming a new popular trend among health enthusiasts. They are scientifically proven to reduce anxiety, stress, high blood pressure, improve work focus and night sleep, wake you up for a day full of energy or prepare for a great workout.

Breathing exercises developed over the centuries along the development of Asian mindfulness practices and yoga. The modern science has proven that they provide immense health benefits. Here is a very simplified explanation…


How breathing exercises for high blood pressure helped me to fix this condition

According to the World Health Organization over 1.1 billion people across the world suffer from high blood pressure, or hypertension. The good news is that in many cases one can lower high blood pressure with simple breathing exercises. This article explains how and when use breathing exercises to lower blood pressure and anxiety. As someone who has suffered from both conditions in the past, I found that breathing exercises are a great natural tool which helps to cope with them.

What Is Hypertension?

High blood pressure is…


How breathing exercises helped me to reduce anxiety and lower blood pressure quickly and why you should learn them too.

I was diagnosed with anxiety and high blood pressure in my mid-forties. It was a result of work-related stress. When I approached my doctor with a question how I can lower blood pressure he suggested physical exercise. Indeed, walking and jogging helped a lot with blood pressure management. Every time after exercise, my blood pressure readings were lower. Things were more complicated with anxiety. Those days I often felt like my body is on a constant high alert ready to…


8 years ago, I took to heart advice from my doctor to start exercising as a way to fix hypertension. Here is how I brought my blood pressure to 120/80 in less than a year and you can too

Fixing high blood pressure allows for a life full of joy

It is common knowledge that high blood pressure increases the risk of CVD (cardiovascular disease) and stroke. High blood pressure is medically known as hypertension. Key elements of treatment are exercise, healthy nutrition and stress management. These elements are also very important for weight management as excess weight is a major risk factor for high blood pressure and CVD. Please talk to your doctor before starting a new fitness program. How do you progress from knowing these facts to actually making use of exercising to lower blood pressure? Follow this 5-step plan. I

Step 1. Make Exercise Fun

Benefits of exercise can be achieved with moderate intensity workouts of just 30 minutes a day. Walking, riding a bike with the kids or doing housework are all exercises for lower blood pressure and a good start. I admit, I started exercising at the age of 48 not for fun reasons. My doctor really scared me. He said that unless I change my lifestyle and start exercising, I will soon develop a CVD. I started from very slow jogging for 20–30 min after work every day in a nearby park. I saw improvements in BP readings after two weeks and approximately at that time I actually started to enjoy this exercise to low blood pressure. These runs gave me an opportunity to calm down after work, reflect on my day and enjoy family dinners after that.

“I saw improvements in BP readings after two weeks and approximately at that time I actually started to enjoy this exercise.”

Step 2. Find a program or coach you trust

It doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to sign for a gym. However, the benefits of coaches can be added safety and encouragement. Your doctor can provide you with initial coaching advice to exercising to lower blood pressure . Alternatively, you may want download one of the fitness mobile apps or online fitness programs. Read reviews carefully to make sure that you are engaging with a trustworthy program. Your routine should be developed based on your underlying health and current capability. I was lucky as a friend introduced me to an experienced trainer 5 years older than me. He understood well specifics of working with mature clients with health challenges. Though my trainer was older than me, he was in great physical shape, which helped my motivation. Together we built a training plan which was challenging but at the same time helped me to avoid injuries and overtraining.

“Though my trainer was older than me, he was in great physical shape, which helped my motivation”.

Step 3: Start gradually

If you haven’t exercised in a while, start slowly with lowering blood pressure exercises to prevent injuries. Begin with 15–30 minutes of exercise which you really like, such as walking in nature. Gradually increase the duration and pace, i.e. move from walking to slow jogging. Most likely over few weeks you will observe that your blood pressure is getting lower. Sometimes moderate-level aerobic activities, such as brisk walking for 30 minutes a day, may be enough to decrease medications. Exercise itself can reduce blood pressure readings by as much as 5–15 mmHg. Update your doctor regularly on the progress you make with exercise for high blood pressure so she could adjust your medications accordingly.

“In less than 12 months after being diagnosed with hypertension my blood pressure returned to normal levels.”

I started exercising from slow jogging. As my blood pressure improved, I gradually started to run fastyer and longer. In less than 12 months after being diagnosed with hypertension my blood pressure returned to normal levels. After another 9 months, at the age of 50, I completed my first marathon.

Step 4: Combine Aerobic, Strength Exercise and Stretches

Aerobic exercise (running, cycling, swimming) causes the heart to beat faster and hence it is vital for lowering blood pressure. Resistance training (or weight training) is great for boosting metabolic rate, reducing body fat, and increasing muscle mass. This means they are also great exercises for lower blood pressure. As we age, our bodies naturally lose muscle mass and the only way to slow down this process is to do resistance training. See your doctor before starting a new resistance or weight lifting program. Stretching exercises are also critically important as they keep our joints in good shape and help prevent injuries while running, cycling or exercising with weights.

“Build in aerobic, strength and yoga…


Blood test is a generally accepted way to analyze diabetes or pre-diabetes risk. Currently most medical assessments across the world suggest that generally healthy individuals should do a glucose blood test once per year. However this approach is far from ideal as there are many factors (i.e. mental and physical stress) which influence blood glucose on a particular day. Hence test results taken on a random day once per year may not provide an adequate picture of what is going on inside our body. This is especially true for people who exercise a lot as they need to understand how…

Dmitri Konash

I am passionate about helping people to manage anxiety and high blood pressure with breathing exercises and meditation at dmitrikonash.com/blog

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