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If you are overweight, losing weight can help you achieve a reduction in blood pressure. Carrying extra weight puts additional strain on your heart. Also, as people gain weight, their blood pressure tends to rise. Losing weight can make high blood pressure drop back down.
Your healthcare provider can help you create a diet and exercise program that's right for you and your weight loss goals. A low-fat, low-cholesterol, and low-salt diet is usually recommended, along with an exercise program.
(Click Weight and High Blood Pressure for more information.)
Regular exercise has been shown to lower blood pressure. Many people think this means having to do a lot of strenuous exercise every day, but this is a myth. A moderate exercise program will help keep your heart and blood vessels in shape and promotes a lowering of blood pressure.
The American Heart Association even classifies walking at a brisk pace for 30 to 60 minutes, three days a week, as "regular physical activity." Also, you don't have to fit all your physical activity into one exercise session. You can break it up into ten-minute sessions or whatever works best for you. Your healthcare provider can help you come up with a good exercise plan as part of your treatment plan.
(Click Exercise and High Blood Pressure for more information.)
Reducing Alcohol Consumption
If you drink more than one to two alcoholic drinks a day, it may be wise to cut back on the amount of alcohol you drink. A person with high blood pressure can usually drink once in a while. However, your doctor can tell you specifically how much alcohol is dangerous for your condition. Drinking alcohol may be one of the most common causes of high blood pressure. You may find that your blood pressure becomes lower as you reduce the amount of alcohol you drink.
(Click Alcohol and High Blood Pressure to learn more.)