How to Lower Blood Pressure

By Michele C. Hollow @YourCareE
December 12, 2023
How to Lower Your Blood Pressure

You can take control and lower your blood pressure with these important and achievable lifestyle changes, while reducing your risk of heart disease along the way.

If your doctor advised you that you need to lower your blood pressure and you’re not ready to take medication, you can learn how to lower high blood pressure with a combination of healthy eating and exercise.

What is normal blood pressure?

First, you should know that a normal blood pressure reading is when the top number is less than 120 and the bottom number is less than 80. If your numbers are higher, you need to make a few lifestyle changes.


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How to lower blood pressure 

Lose weight

Being overweight — especially carrying pounds around your waistline — can increase your blood pressure. Losing weight will lower your blood pressure numbers, making you feel better.

Eat a healthy diet

Cut down on salt and high sodium foods. If you’re unsure of the amount of sodium in the foods you’re eating, start reading the labels. You don’t have to eliminate such foods. You just need to cut back and replace some of them with low- or no-salt versions.

Add fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to your diet. Those foods can lower your blood pressure and improve your heart health. Potassium, found in fruits and vegetables, lessens the negative effects that sodium has on blood pressure.

If you like to have several cups of coffee a day, cut back to one or two cups. Caffeine can raise blood pressure. Substitute decaf or tea, both of which contain less caffeine than regular coffee. Eliminate sodas with caffeine, too. (It’s a good idea to avoid drinking all soda, including diet soda.)

Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. A small amount of red wine — one glass a day — can actually lower your blood pressure. More than that on a regular basis will raise your blood pressure.

Allow yourself an occasional treat. A piece of dark chocolate or dark chocolate drizzled over fresh popped popcorn (unsalted) is a healthy snack. Dark chocolate is a heart healthy food that can lower your high blood pressure. Just practice moderation.

Quit smoking

If you smoke, the reasons to quit are numerous. Each cigarette you inhale increases your blood pressure. The good news is that your blood pressure can return to normal after you quit.

Make exercise a regular part of your life

Take a walk. Join a gym. Turn on some dance music and exercise in the privacy of your home. All you need is 30 minutes a day. Exercise has been proven to lower blood pressure. It also reduces stress

Stress raises blood pressure

Exercise, yoga, and meditation can help reduce stress. Find one exercise that you enjoy and stick with it. Meditation is a perfect way to lower your blood pressure. Commit to as little as 10 minutes each morning.

Other ways you can learn how to lower blood pressure

Remove yourself from stressful situations

If you are in a negative relationship or are having a hard time at work or home, talk to someone who can offer support. If you feel yourself getting tense, take a few deep breathes, and if possible, take a walk.

Listen to your favorite music

It’s all about feeling happy and calm. Sometimes listening to your favorite music can make you feel joyful and lower your high blood pressure.

Consider counseling

Talk to your doctor about your lifestyle changes. If you suffer from anxiety, speak to a professional counselor. Sometimes an outsider — such as a social worker or psychologist — can help you manage your stress.


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December 12, 2023

Reviewed By:  

Janet O’Dell, RN