How To Reduce High Blood Pressure Naturally | How To Prevent High Blood Pressure Naturally
Prevent Hypertension With Diet and Exercise
Eating fruits and vegetables and maintaining an active lifestyle are great methods of hypertension prevention.
By Diana Rodriguez
Medically Reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH
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Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to get serious about your health and try to prevent health problems like high blood pressure. But how do you start? A good first step on the road to prevention is to establish a healthy diet and exercise program.
Weight, Diet, and Exercise
You know that gaining weight can do a number on your self-esteem, but do you know how it can affect your blood pressure levels? Research shows that losing just 10 pounds can help prevent hypertension. Maintaining a healthy body weight is important for your overall health, but it is especially important when it comes to preventing hypertension and bringing high blood pressure into a normal range.
The right diet also plays a major role in hypertension prevention. Not only can a healthy diet help you manage weight, but the kinds of foods you eat are important. Key aspects of a hypertension-friendly eating plan include limiting sodium intake, and increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables, and lowering dietary fat intake.
Following the recommendations of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, which focuses on these heart-healthy foods, has been shown to lower blood pressure by as much as 6 milligrams of mercury (mm Hg). Lowering sodium intake helps to steady blood pressure levels and control hypertension.
Exercise is another critical component of hypertension prevention. Even a little bit of exercise will help, but the American Heart Association advises people to complete at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise most days of the week. If you haven’t been active for a while, talk to your doctor before undertaking any fitness program.
Make Changes Today
If you want to get healthy, start by making changes to your diet and exercise plan. And if you're concerned about high blood pressure, focus on these specific elements:
- Slash sodium.Instead of cooking with salt, use fresh herbs for delicious flavor. Remember to read the labels of canned, prepackaged, or processed foods — notorious for high levels of sodium. Your goal should be to eat no more than 2,400 mg of sodium each day; 1,500 mg or less if you're concerned about blood pressure.
- Stock up on the good stuff.Load your kitchen, and your plate, with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products. These foods will lower your calorie intake and help prevent hypertension and weight gain.
- Slim down.Know your body mass index (BMI), and if your score indicates that you're overweight, bring it back down to size, talk to your doctor about what your ideal weight should be and what you should do to get your BMI into a healthy range.
- Stick with exercise.You have to commit to an exercise routine and make it a part of your daily life in order to reap the rewards. For best results, pick an activity you enjoy and can stick with. Go for a daily walk, run, or bike ride or play a sport. Adding variety to your activity plan will help stave off boredom.
Making these changes will help you prevent hypertension and the long term health problems that stem from high blood pressure. Feel good about your decision to get fit and take control of your health.
Video: How To Prevent High Blood Pressure
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