1. Lose weight
By far, the most effective means of reducing elevated blood pressure is to lose weight, says Fisher. And it doesn’t require significant weight loss to make a difference. Even losing as little as 10 pounds can lower your blood pressure.
2. Get moving
It doesn’t take much exercise to make a difference in your health. Aim for a half-hour at least five days a week. “Make sure you’re doing something you love, or it won’t stick,” says Fisher. “For some, that means dancing; for others, biking or taking brisk walks with a friend.” Even everyday activities, such as gardening, can help.
3. Limit alcohol to one drink per day
Drinking too much, too often, can increase your blood pressure, so practice moderation
Among the many reasons to quit smoking is that the habit is a strong risk factor for heart disease.
Every puff of cigarette smoke causes a slight, temporary increase in blood pressure. The chemicals in tobacco are also known to damage blood vessels.
5. Eat more potassium-rich foods
Potassium is an essential mineral.
It helps your body get rid of sodium and ease pressure on your blood vessels.
Modern diets have increased most people’s sodium intake while decreasing potassium intake.
To get a better balance of potassium to sodium in your diet, focus on eating fewer processed foods and more fresh, whole foods.
Foods that are particularly high in potassium include:
- Vegetables, especially leafy greens, tomatoes, potatoes, and sweet potatoes
- Fruit, including melons, bananas, avocados, oranges, and apricots
- Dairy, such as milk and yogurt
- Tuna and salmon
- Nuts and seeds