By making these 5 lifestyle changes, you can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease. Here are 5 lifestyle changes you can make to lower your blood pressure and keep it down.
1. Lose extra pounds and watch your waistline
Blood pressure often increases as weight increases. Being overweight also can cause disrupted breathing while you sleep (sleep apnea), which further raises your blood pressure.
Weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for controlling blood pressure. Losing just 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) can help reduce your blood pressure.
Men are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 40 inches (102 centimeters). Women are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 35 inches (89 centimeters).
2. Exercise regularly
Regular physical activity at least 30 minutes most days of the week, can lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). It's important to be consistent because if you stop exercising, your blood pressure can rise again.
The best types of exercise for lowering blood pressure include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing. Strength training also can help reduce blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about developing an exercise program.
3. Eat a healthy diet
Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure by up to 14 mm Hg. This eating plan is known as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.
4. Reduce sodium in your diet
Even a small reduction in the sodium in your diet can reduce blood pressure by 2 to 8 mm Hg.
The effect of sodium intake on blood pressure varies among groups of people. In general, limit sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day or less. However, a lower sodium intake — 1,500 mg a day or less — is appropriate for people with greater salt sensitivity, including:
5. Leave drinking Alcohol
Alcohol can be both good and bad for your health. In small amounts, it can potentially lower your blood pressure by 2 to 4 mm Hg.
Leaving Alcohol can lower your blood pressure.