Choose healthy meal and snack options that help you avoid high blood pressure and its complications. Stay at a healthy weight. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. By making these 10 lifestyle changes, you can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Here are 10 lifestyle changes that can lower your blood pressure and keep it low. Weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for controlling blood pressure. If you're overweight or obese, losing even a small amount of weight can help lower your blood pressure. In general, blood pressure can drop by about 1 millimeter of mercury (mm Hg) for every kilogram (approximately 2.2 pounds) of weight lost.
Dietary potassium can decrease the effects of salt (sodium) on blood pressure. The best sources of potassium are foods, such as fruits and vegetables, rather than supplements. Try to consume 3500 to 5000 mg a day, which could lower blood pressure by 4 to 5 mm Hg. Ask your healthcare provider how much potassium you should consume.
Even a small reduction in dietary sodium can improve heart health and reduce high blood pressure by 5 to 6 mm Hg. The effect of sodium intake on blood pressure varies between groups of people. In general, limit sodium to 2300 milligrams (mg) a day or less. However, a lower sodium intake of 1500 mg per day or less is ideal for most adults.
Limiting alcohol consumption to less than one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men can help lower blood pressure by approximately 4 mm Hg. One drink is equivalent to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-degree liquor. The higher your body mass index (BMI), the greater your chances of developing high blood pressure. Know your BMI with your doctor and try to maintain the normal weight range for your height.
It's especially important to have it checked frequently if you're over 40 years old, overweight, sedentary, or have a family history of heart disease or high blood pressure.