Effective ways for reducing high blood pressure

Once detected, high blood pressure can be controlled with lifestyle changes or medication. For individuals with systolic blood pressure under 140 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure under 90 mmHg a physician will often advise lifestyle changes. Individuals with hypertension may need one or more medications, in addition to lifestyle changes, to help reduce their blood pressure. The following are effective ways for reducing high blood pressure without the use of medication:

  • Be physically active for 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week.
  • Choose the following foods more often:
    • Vegetables and fruit
    • Low-fat dairy products
    • Foods low in saturated and trans fat
    • Foods low in sodium or salt
    • Whole grains
    • Lean meat, fish and poultry
  • Eat less salt by avoiding or limiting the amount of fast food, canned foods, and prepared/processed foods, and avoiding or reducing the amount of salt added to food when cooking or at the table.
  • If overweight, losing weight and reducing weight to within a healthy range, will lower blood pressure.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol to 1 to 2 “standard” drinks a day or less. One standard drink equals a regular-sized bottle or can of beer, a 1.5 ounce shot of hard liquor, or a regular-sized glass of wine.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Reduce stress by making changes to lifestyle or by practicing relaxation techniques.
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