A Guide to Lowering Blood Pressure
What can you do to prevent or control high blood pressure?
- Quit smoking and/or chewing tobacco. Ask your provider for help with quitting.
- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, ask your provider for help with a plan to lose weight.
- Be physically active. “Physical activity” includes any activity that raises your heart rate, such as brisk walking, working in the house or yard, or playing sports. Do activity for 10 minutes or more at a time. Aim for at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of activity each week.
- Reduce salt in your diet. Read food labels. Choose and prepare foods that are low in sodium or are sodium-free. Ask to see a registered dietitian if you need help with a plan.
- Limit alcohol. Men should have no more than 2 drinks per day. Women should have no more than 1 drink per day.
What else can you do?
Always ask your provider what your blood pressure is and write it down. Discuss these numbers with your provider. Your provider may prescribe medicine to help lower your blood pressure.
- Take your medicine every day, or as directed by your provider.
- If your blood pressure numbers get lower, it’s because your medicine is working. Don’t stop it or take a lower dose unless your provider says you should.