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How can you prevent high blood pressure?

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Even if you have many risk factors, there are steps you can take to prevent high blood pressure:

Ask your doctor for suggestions about high blood pressure and how to prevent it. Your doctor may refer you to other health care professionals who can help.

  • Keep your weight at a healthy level. You can accomplish this by a combination of healthy eating and regular exercise.
  • Eat a healthy diet. This includes eating only the amount of food your body needs and choosing foods high in nutrients and low in fat, sugar, and salt.
  • Limit how much salt you eat. Most of the sodium you eat is in the form of salt. It may be salt that you add at the table or salt added to processed foods you consume.
  • Limit how much alcohol you drink.
  • Don't smoke tobacco, and minimize your exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • Get regular exercise. Try to get at least 30 minutes of activity each day, at least five days a week. Exercise relieves stress and helps you control your weight.
  • Don't let stress build up. The chemicals your body makes in response to stress make your heart beat harder and faster and your blood vessels tighten. All this makes blood pressure higher.

SOURCES: American Academy of Family Physicians web site: "High Blood Pressure: Things You Can Do to Help Lower Yours." Mayo Clinic web site: "How being black affects your blood pressure: A healthy lifestyle is important regardless of skin color." National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute web site: "Your Guide to Lowering High Blood Pressure; What Are High Blood Pressure and Prehypertension?" WebMD Medical Reference: "High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)," "How adrenaline regulates blood pressure." American Medical Association.



 

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on January 22, 2017

SOURCES: American Academy of Family Physicians web site: "High Blood Pressure: Things You Can Do to Help Lower Yours." Mayo Clinic web site: "How being black affects your blood pressure: A healthy lifestyle is important regardless of skin color." National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute web site: "Your Guide to Lowering High Blood Pressure; What Are High Blood Pressure and Prehypertension?" WebMD Medical Reference: "High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)," "How adrenaline regulates blood pressure." American Medical Association.



 

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on January 22, 2017

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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