Control your high blood pressure without medication
GEHA | November 1, 2021
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 high blood pressure. Here are some lifestyle changes you can make to lower your blood pressure and keep it down.
- Lose extra pounds. Blood pressure often increases as weight increases. Being overweight can also cause sleep apnea, which also raises your blood pressure.
- Exercise regularly. It’s important to be consistent because if you stop exercising, your blood pressure can rise again. Examples of aerobic exercise you may try are walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing. Strength training may also help reduce blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about developing an exercise program.
- Eat a healthy diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products.
- Reduce sodium in your diet. In general, limit sodium to 2,300 milligrams (mg) or less a day. Herbs and spices are great substitutes for salt on food.
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
- Quit smoking. This can also help reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Reduce your stress. Think about what causes you to feel stressed, such as work, family, finances or illness. Then consider how you can eliminate or reduce this stress.
- Monitor your blood pressure at home and see your doctor regularly. High or elevated blood pressure has no symptoms, so checking your blood pressure is the only way to know whether it’s too high.
- If you take medication for high blood pressure, don’t stop. Stopping your medicine without first talking to your doctor could lead to serious health consequences.
“Manage High Blood Pressure.” cdc.gov, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24 February, 2020.
“10 ways to control high blood pressure without medication.” mayoclinic.org, Mayo Clinic, 24 February, 2021.