Ways to control high blood pressure without medication

Ways to control high blood pressure without medication

If you've been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you might be worried about taking medication to bring your numbers down. Lifestyle plays an important role in treating your high blood pressure. If you successfully control your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle, you may avoid, delay or reduce the need for medication.

Here are few lifestyle changes you can make to lower your blood pressure and keep it down.

Blood pressure often increases as weight increases. Losing just 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) can help reduce your blood pressure. In general, the more weight you lose, the lower your blood pressure. Losing weight also makes any blood pressure medications you're taking more effective. You and your doctor can determine your target weight and the best way to achieve it.

Regular physical activity at least 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week can lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).

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.

Even a small reduction in the sodium in your diet can reduce blood pressure by 2 to 8 mm Hg. The recommendations for reducing sodium is to limit sodium to 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day or less.

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. But, that protective effect is lost if you drink too much alcohol generally more than one drink a day for women and men older than age 65, or more than two a day for men age 65 and younger.

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