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    5 Lifestyle Tips to Lower High Blood Pressure

    Want to know exactly how much certain lifestyle changes can affect your blood pressure? Take a look at the numbers.

    The Change: Lose weight.

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    Exercise Tips for Those With High Blood Pressure

    Making exercise a habit can help lower your blood pressure. It also gives you more energy, and it's a great way to ease stress and feel better. Check in with your doctor first if you're not already active now. They'll make sure you're ready for exercise. Since an active lifestyle is good for your blood pressure, your doctor will likely be all for it. You can do any activity you like, and you don't need to go to a gym. As long as you're moving around and making your heart beat a little faster or...

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    The Payoff: You’ll lower your systolic blood pressure (the first number in your blood pressure results) by 5 to 20 points for every 20 pounds you lose. In fact, if you're overweight, losing as little as 10 pounds can help lower blood pressure. The weight loss goal is to get your body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9.

    The Change: Follow the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet.

    The Payoff: This eating plan is high in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy. Stick to it and watch your systolic blood pressure drop 8 to 14 points.

    The Change: Cut back on sodium.

    The Payoff: Limiting sodium to 2,400 milligrams per day can lower your number 2 to 8 points.

    The Change: Exercise.

    The Payoff: Do 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week and cut your blood pressure by 4 to 9 points.

    The Change: Drink less alcohol.

    The Payoff: Bring down your systolic blood pressure 2 to 4 points when you limit yourself to one alcoholic drink a day (for women) or two drinks (for men).

    One drink is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Elizabeth Klodas, MD, FACC on June 01, 2015
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