The ONE organ responsible for high blood pressure.
Ways to Lower Blood Pressure
Here are some things they may suggest.
Lose WeightYou’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. Weight loss will also help with sleep apnea -- when your breathing briefly stops multiple times while you sleep. (It can raise your blood pressure and make your heart beat irregularly.) Shed pounds slowly with a steady mix of healthy eating and exercise. Keeping tabs on the scale will help your blood pressure take care of itself. Check your readings regularly at home, and try to stay in your target range.
Eat HealthyA program called DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is considered by many to be the best diet when it comes to managing and lowering blood pressure. Stick to it and watch your systolic blood pressure drop 8 to 14 points. Its basic rules are to stay away from or cut back on:
- Foods high in total and saturated fat
- Processed foods
- Alcohol (no more than one drink a day if you’re a woman; two or less if you’re a man)
Get Regular Exercise
Exercise is the soulmate to eating right. You’re more likely to lose weight if you exercise and follow a healthy diet. Official recommendations call for at least half an hour of exercise most days of the week. The effects can be dramatic: blood pressure drops of 4 to 9 points. Remember that exercise isn’t just going to the gym. It can be gardening, washing your car, or housework. But things that get your heart rate up -- aerobic activities -- like walking, dancing, jogging, riding your bike, and swimming are best for your heart.