Six Effective Approaches to Reduce Blood Pressure Naturally

Taking medication to lower high blood pressure has been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease, but lifestyle changes may also help maintain healthy numbers and avoid the need for drug therapy. According to Howard Lewine, editor-in-chief of Harvard Men’s Health Watch, unless blood pressure is very high, medication may not be needed right away. For those with high blood pressure or stage 1 hypertension, the first thing to do is to make serious lifestyle changes. Normal blood pressure is measured at 120/80 mm Hg, but elevated blood pressure can mean systolic blood pressure between 120 and 129 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure less than 80 mm Hg.

It is important to talk to a doctor to determine whether medication is needed, but a healthy lifestyle is the cornerstone of blood pressure control. Dr. Lewine says that six major lifestyle changes can have the greatest impact on blood pressure: diet, exercise and weight management, salt and alcohol restriction, and stress management. The DASH diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, lean protein, nuts, seeds, and grains, and limits intake of red meat, sodium, and foods and drinks with added sugar, has been found to be particularly effective for lowering blood pressure.

Regular exercise is also important, with at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise recommended per week. Any kind of exercise is better than nothing, but joining a walking club or sports league, hiring a personal trainer, or signing up for a fitness class can provide motivation.

Maintaining a healthy weight, reducing sodium intake, limiting alcohol consumption, and managing stress can also contribute to lower blood pressure. Overall, making these lifestyle changes can help prevent increased blood pressure medication doses or additional medications.

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