High blood pressure (or hypertension) affects millions of people worldwide. Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps. When this force is consistently too high, it can significantly damage your arteries and lead to serious complications such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney problems.

Though many medications help to control hypertension, “it’s safe to exercise if you’re at risk for high blood pressure (previously called prehypertension) or with high blood pressure. In fact, regular exercise can help you keep your blood pressure in check” (Healthline, 2023) – see below for why, plus some tips and recommendations. 

High Blood Pressure and Working Out: A Simple Guide


When it comes to health conditions in general, regular physical activity plays a vital role in the maintenance of well-being. In fact, aerobic activities such as walking, cycling, swimming, or jogging can lower blood pressure while strengthening your heart over time. Even moderate-intensity activities (when practiced consistently or with a private personal trainer) can make a difference. “Regular exercise makes the heart stronger. A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort. As a result, the force on the arteries decreases” (Mayo Clinic, 2024), eventually resulting in lower blood pressure.


Being overweight or obese is a significant risk factor for high blood pressure. Exercise aids in weight management, as does good nutrition. A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can promote overall cardiovascular health. Key dietary strategies for managing hypertension include reducing your sodium, limiting processed foods, moderating alcohol consumption, and increasing your intake of potassium-rich foods. In-home personal trainers are certified to provide basic nutrition coaching and guidance.


Chronic stress can also contribute to hypertension. Physical activity is an excellent stress reliever, as it triggers the release of endorphins: chemicals in the brain that act as natural mood lifters. Exercise will also improve the quality of your sleep, improve your mood, increase your energy, and reduce your risk of chronic diseases in general.


Aim for a minimum of “ 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity dynamic exercise (eg, walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming) 4-7 days per week in addition to the routine activities of daily living” (Hypertension Canada, 2020-2025 Guidelines). Resistance training exercises to further strengthen your muscles and joints while building bone density should be performed at least twice a week (with appropriate recovery). If you’re new to exercise or have existing health conditions, it’s essential to consult with your doctor before starting a program. Once you’ve been cleared, begin with activities that are comfortable for you and gradually increase the intensity and duration over time. Try to find activities you enjoy and are more likely to stick to in the long run. Whether it’s dancing, gardening, or playing a sport, there are plenty of ways to stay active! Aim for consistency rather than intensity; even short bouts of exercise throughout the day can add up and provide health benefits. Finally, pay attention to how your body responds. If you experience pain, dizziness, or discomfort, stop and rest. If you’re not sure how to build the right exercise routine for you, a certified in-home or virtual personal trainer in Toronto or Collingwood can help! Nielsen Fitness also offers online personal training services across the globe.


Exercise is a powerful tool for managing hypertension and improving health. A smart exercise program can lower your blood pressure, reduce your risk of health complications, and enhance your quality of life. If you’d like help creating and implementing one, we’re here for you. We offer in-person training in Toronto, Collingwood, Ottawa & Hamilton and virtual personal training everywhere. First workouts are zero pressure and always free – you can book yours here.