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Certain lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and exercising more, may help lower blood pressure. Other lifestyle changes that can help include drinking less alcohol and reducing salt intake. Quitting smoking can help reduce blood pressure, too. For those people who cannot achieve normal blood pressure through lifestyle changes, medication can be prescribed.

How To Lower Your Blood Pressure

Anyone can develop high blood pressure (also known as hypertension). In fact, one in three Americans (more than 65 million people) has high blood pressure. Unfortunately, in more than 90 percent of cases, the cause or causes of high blood pressure are not known. But hypertension research scientists have found certain lifestyle changes can help lower blood pressure. If lifestyle changes alone are not enough, blood pressure medication can be prescribed.
By lowering blood pressure, people can reduce the long-term effects of this condition, including:

Lifestyle Changes That Can Lower Blood Pressure

Lifestyle changes are usually the first step in high blood pressure treatment. These do help lower blood pressure, and often help improve a person's quality of life as well.
It may take three to six months before your healthcare provider sees the full benefit of lifestyle changes on your condition. Some of these changes may include:
  • Losing weight
  • Exercising regularly
  • Reducing alcohol consumption
  • Cutting down on salt in your diet
  • Following a diet that emphasizes fruits and vegetables while reducing fats and cholesterol.
Other lifestyle factors that may influence blood pressure and that should be reduced or stopped completely include smoking and prolonged stress (see Smoking and High Blood Pressure or Stress and High Blood Pressure).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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