You can lower your blood pressure without medication. Try these 10 lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes can significantly reduce high blood pressure and even lower your risk for hypertension in the future. Here's 17 ways to lower. Exercise is one of the best things you can do to lower high blood pressure. Regular exercise helps make your heart stronger and more efficient.
Your How to Pressure Lower Blood
However, a lower sodium intake — 1, mg a day or less — is ideal for most adults. Alcohol can be both good and bad for your health. By drinking alcohol only in moderation — generally one drink a day for women, or two a day for men — you can potentially lower your blood pressure by about 4 mm Hg. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine or 1. Drinking more than moderate amounts of alcohol can actually raise blood pressure by several points.
It can also reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications. Each cigarette you smoke increases your blood pressure for many minutes after you finish. Stopping smoking helps your blood pressure return to normal. Quitting smoking can reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your overall health. People who quit smoking may live longer than people who never quit smoking.
The role caffeine plays in blood pressure is still debated. Caffeine can raise blood pressure up to 10 mm Hg in people who rarely consume it. But people who drink coffee regularly may experience little or no effect on their blood pressure.
Although the long-term effects of caffeine on blood pressure aren't clear, it's possible blood pressure may slightly increase. To see if caffeine raises your blood pressure, check your pressure within 30 minutes of drinking a caffeinated beverage. If your blood pressure increases by 5 to 10 mm Hg, you may be sensitive to the blood pressure raising effects of caffeine. Talk to your doctor about the effects of caffeine on your blood pressure. Chronic stress may contribute to high blood pressure.
More research is needed to determine the effects of chronic stress on blood pressure. Occasional stress also can contribute to high blood pressure if you react to stress by eating unhealthy food, drinking alcohol or smoking. Take some time to think about what causes you to feel stressed, such as work, family, finances or illness. Once you know what's causing your stress, consider how you can eliminate or reduce stress.
If you can't eliminate all of your stressors, you can at least cope with them in a healthier way. Home monitoring can help you keep tabs on your blood pressure, make certain your lifestyle changes are working, and alert you and your doctor to potential health complications. Blood pressure monitors are available widely and without a prescription.
Talk to your doctor about home monitoring before you get started. Regular visits with your doctor are also key to controlling your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is well-controlled, check with your doctor about how often you need to check it.
Your doctor may suggest checking it daily or less often. If you're making any changes in your medications or other treatments, your doctor may recommend you check your blood pressure starting two weeks after treatment changes and a week before your next appointment. Supportive family and friends can help improve your health. They may encourage you to take care of yourself, drive you to the doctor's office or embark on an exercise program with you to keep your blood pressure low.
If you find you need support beyond your family and friends, consider joining a support group. This may put you in touch with people who can give you an emotional or morale boost and who can offer practical tips to cope with your condition.
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This content does not have an Arabic version. Free E-newsletter Subscribe to Housecall Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics. By Mayo Clinic Staff. Nonpharmacologic prevention and treatment of hypertension.
Accessed May 11, Kaplan NM, et al. Diet in the treatment and prevention of hypertension. Obesity and weight reduction in hypertension. What is the optimal therapy in patients with hypertension? Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; Basile J, et al.
Overview of hypertension in adults. Exercise in the treatment and prevention of hypertension. Your guide to lowering your blood pressure with DASH. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Salt intake, salt restriction and primary essential hypertension. Tobacco and blood pressure. Accessed May 12, Harms of cigarette smoking and health benefits of quitting.
Cardiovascular effects of caffeine and caffeinated beverage. Stress and blood pressure. Bonow RO, et al. A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and white coat hypertension in adults.
Home blood pressure monitoring. Accessed April 3, Measuring your blood pressure at home. Keeping high blood pressure under control. Tips to sticking with lifestyle changes. Monitoring your blood pressure at home. Thomas G, et al. Blood pressure in the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension. Whelton PK, et al. Shaking the salt habit to lower high blood pressure. Getting active to control high blood pressure. Accessed March 12, Smoking, high blood pressure and your health.
Managing stress to control high blood pressure. Sheps SG expert opinion. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Mayo Clinic Healthy Heart for Life! Does it affect blood pressure? A cause of high blood pressure? Any effect on blood sugar? Do they cause weight gain? How do they affect exercise?
Can it be higher in one arm? Blood pressure chart Blood pressure cuff: Does it have a daily pattern? Is it affected by cold weather? Still necessary if I lose weight? Can they raise my triglycerides? Why higher at home? Blood pressure test Blood pressure tip: Get more potassium Blood pressure tip: Get off the couch Blood pressure tip: Know alcohol limits Blood pressure tip: Stress out no more Blood pressure tip: Watch the caffeine Blood pressure tip: Watch your weight Blood sugar levels can fluctuate for many reasons Blood sugar testing: When you experience stress, you might also be more likely to engage in other behaviors, such as drinking alcohol or eating unhealthy food, that can negatively affect blood pressure.
Several studies have explored how reducing stress can help lower blood pressure. Here are two evidence-based tips to try:. Chronic stress can contribute to high blood pressure. Finding ways to manage stress can help. That's because dark chocolate and cocoa powder are rich in flavonoids, plant compounds that cause blood vessels to dilate A review of studies found that flavonoid-rich cocoa improved several markers of heart health over the short term, including lowering blood pressure For the strongest effects, use non-alkalized cocoa powder, which is especially high in flavonoids and has no added sugars.
Dark chocolate and cocoa powder contain plant compounds that help relax blood vessels, lowering blood pressure. In previous studies, losing 17 pounds 7. The effect is even greater when weight loss is paired with exercise Losing weight can help your blood vessels do a better job of expanding and contracting, making it easier for the left ventricle of the heart to pump blood.
Losing weight can significantly lower high blood pressure. This effect is even greater when you exercise. Among the many reasons to quit smoking is that the habit is a strong risk factor for heart disease. Every puff of cigarette smoke causes a slight, temporary increase in blood pressure.
The chemicals in tobacco are also known to damage blood vessels. Surprisingly, studies haven't found a conclusive link between smoking and high blood pressure. Perhaps this is because smokers develop a tolerance over time Still, since both smoking and high blood pressure raise the risk of heart disease, quitting smoking can help reverse that risk.
There's conflicting research about smoking and high blood pressure, but what is clear is that both increase the risk of heart disease. There's a growing body of research showing a link between added sugar and high blood pressure 30 , 31 , In the Framingham Women's Health Study, women who drank even one soda per day had higher levels than those who drank less than one soda per day Another study found that having one less sugar-sweetened beverage per day was linked to lower blood pressure And it's not just sugar - all refined carbs, such as the kind found in white flour, convert rapidly to sugar in your bloodstream and may cause problems.
One study on people undergoing statin therapy found that those who went on a six-week, carb-restricted diet saw a greater improvement in blood pressure and other heart disease markers than people not on a diet Refined carbs, especially sugar, may raise blood pressure.
Some studies have shown that low-carb diets may help reduce your levels. Participants experienced improvements in different markers of heart health, including blood pressure Another study assigned people with high blood pressure to a low-polyphenol diet or a high-polyphenol diet containing berries, chocolate, fruits and vegetables Those consuming berries and polyphenol-rich foods experienced improved markers of heart disease risk.
Berries are rich in polyphenols, which can help lower blood pressure and the overall risk of heart disease. While these two behaviors could also fall under "stress reduction techniques," meditation and deep breathing deserve specific mention. Both meditation and deep breathing are thought to activate the parasympathetic nervous system.
This system is engaged when the body relaxes, slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure. There's quite a bit of research in this area, with studies showing that different styles of meditation appear to have benefits for lowering blood pressure 38 , In one study, participants were asked to either take six deep breaths over the course of 30 seconds or to simply sit still for 30 seconds.
Those who took breaths lowered their blood pressure more than those who just sat Try guided meditation or deep breathing. Here's a video to get you started. Both meditation and deep breathing can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps slow your heart rate and lower blood pressure. People with low calcium intake often have high blood pressure. While calcium supplements haven't been conclusively shown to lower blood pressure, calcium-rich diets do seem linked to healthy levels 41 , For most adults, the calcium recommendation is 1, mg per day.
For women over 50 and men over 70, it's 1, mg per day In addition to dairy, you can get calcium from collard greens and other leafy greens, beans, sardines and tofu.
Here is a complete list. Calcium-rich diets are linked to healthy blood pressure levels. Get calcium through dark leafy greens and tofu, as well as dairy. Some natural supplements may also help lower blood pressure. Here are some of the main supplements that have evidence behind them:. Several natural supplements have been investigated for their ability to lower blood pressure. Magnesium is an important mineral that helps blood vessels relax. Some studies have suggested that getting too little magnesium is linked with high blood pressure, but evidence from clinical studies has been less clear 52 , Still, eating a magnesium-rich diet is a recommended way to ward off high blood pressure You can incorporate magnesium into your diet with vegetables, dairy products, legumes, chicken, meat and whole grains.
Magnesium is an important mineral that helps regulate blood pressure. Find it in whole foods, such as legumes and whole grains. While drugs are one way to treat the condition, there are many other natural techniques that can help. Controlling your blood pressure through the methods in this article may, ultimately, help you lower your risk of heart disease. If you want to buy any of the over-the-counter remedies listed in this article then they are available online.
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Fifteen natural ways to lower your blood pressure
Healthy eating plays an important role in managing blood pressure. It is important to reduce your salt intake. Try these healthy eating tips: Choose vegetables. Steps to lower blood pressure by keeping a healthy weight, living actively with exercise, limiting alcohol, not smoking, reducing stress, lowering sodium intake. If you suddenly find yourself with high blood pressure (hypertension) under the new guidelines from the American Heart Association and the.